Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction is a lovely book. Computer geeks borrowed the framework to talk about programming. But the original book is overlooked. It's an easily digestable, fundamentally sensible book about architecture and urban design.
When they have a choice, people will always gravitate to those rooms which have light on two sides, and leave the rooms which are lit only from one side unused and empty.

Locate each room so that it has outdoor space outside it on at least two sides, and then place windows in these outdoor walls so that natural light falls into every room from more than one direction.

I'm delighted to see someone put the patterns online. The descriptions are much shorter than the book material, but it's handy and cross-indexed. From the practical P125: Stair Seats (echoed in William Whyte's work) to the subtle P134: Zen View, it's all here for quick reference.
  2003-09-28 21:34 Z