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The Production of Houses (Center for Environmental Structure Series) Hardcover – 8 Aug 1985

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 381 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (8 Aug. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195032233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195032239
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2.7 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,188,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Christopher Alexander is a builder, craftsman, general contractor, architect, painter, and teacher. He taught from 1963 to 2002 as Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and is now Professor Emeritus. He has spent his life running construction projects, experimenting with new building methods and materials, and crafting carefully articulated buildings--all to advance the idea that people can build environments in which they will thrive. Acting on his deeply-held conviction that, as a society, we must recover the means by which we can build and maintain healthy living environments, he has lived and worked in many cultures, and built buildings all over the world. Making neighborhoods, building-complexes, building, balustrades, columns, ceilings, windows, tiles, ornaments, models and mockups, paintings, furniture, castings and carvings--all this has been his passion, and is the cornerstone from which his paradigm-changing principles have been derived.

Inside This Book

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The single largest element of our environment is that created by our houses, or by "housing." Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 July 1999
Format: Hardcover
If, after reading Christopher Alexander's earlier books, you were wondering if he ever actually built a house in the real world, here's your answer. Yes, he did. Yes, the people owning the houses love the results. Yes, they feel the special connection with their homes that is the hallmark of Alexander's ideas. No, the powers that be, who agreed to temporarily suspend building codes for his project, were not happy with the results. Why? Because they look funny, and because he built five homes instead of five hundred. Well, if they'd read his other books, they would not have been surprised. Our intrepid hero is quite unsparing of himself - you can see his delight as his ideas work, and his horror when they don't.
I believe that Christopher Alexander is dead on in saying that the system he created is a better way to build homes, indeed a far superior way to do so. However, I can't say the official reaction to this project is encouraging. After the first five homes were built, the bureaucrats came in, stopped the project and sent our intrepid hero packing. You can tell from the ending of the book that this reaction spooked Alexander, and I can't blame him. A revolutionary system of construction, he says, antagonizes pretty much everyone. But it will triumph, he proclaims!
It looks like it didn't, but I see increasing awareness of his ideas in more recent architectural books, so hopefully all is not lost. Despite the ultimate outcome, this is a brilliant book from an inspired thinker. You probably want to start with The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language before tackling this one, but if you liked his earlier works, this is an excellent, real-world counterpoint.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
144 of 148 people found the following review helpful
Christopher Alexander's principles put into practice 28 July 1999
By David Dennis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If, after reading Christopher Alexander's earlier books, you were wondering if he ever actually built a house in the real world, here's your answer. Yes, he did. Yes, the people owning the houses love the results. Yes, they feel the special connection with their homes that is the hallmark of Alexander's ideas. No, the powers that be, who agreed to temporarily suspend building codes for his project, were not happy with the results. Why? Because they look funny, and because he built five homes instead of five hundred. Well, if they'd read his other books, they would not have been surprised. Our intrepid hero is quite unsparing of himself - you can see his delight as his ideas work, and his horror when they don't.
I believe that Christopher Alexander is dead on in saying that the system he created is a better way to build homes, indeed a far superior way to do so. However, I can't say the official reaction to this project is encouraging. After the first five homes were built, the bureaucrats came in, stopped the project and sent our intrepid hero packing. You can tell from the ending of the book that this reaction spooked Alexander, and I can't blame him. A revolutionary system of construction, he says, antagonizes pretty much everyone. But it will triumph, he proclaims!
It looks like it didn't, but I see increasing awareness of his ideas in more recent architectural books, so hopefully all is not lost. Despite the ultimate outcome, this is a brilliant book from an inspired thinker. You probably want to start with The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language before tackling this one, but if you liked his earlier works, this is an excellent, real-world counterpoint.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Production of Houses a book beyond its time 9 Oct. 2012
By Leslie Gibbons - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
FIRST published in 1985 it is the fourth volume of a series. It tells of a Mexican project, and like its pre-published volumes, discusses a philosophy as well as management and construction issues. While costs may have dated over the past 27 years it remains relevant to any younger Architect interested in the genuine serch for function and beauty.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating account of theory in practice 19 Jan. 2013
By unitblocks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book at Oxford Too in Atlanta when I was a teenager and it still affects my thinking about building and community space twenty five years later. A great companion to The Oregon Experiment.
Five Stars 25 Jun. 2015
By indiajane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my brother who is a contractor and he found it very interesting
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Livro excelente e entregue na data certa 21 Feb. 2012
By Celena - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Livro excelente e superou as minhas expectativas. As ilustrações são ótimas. Leitura indispensável para arquitetos e engenheiros que se interessam em produçã de moradia em larga escala sem menosprezar a participação da comunidade e da sabedoria popular
Foi entregue na data certa.
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