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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somehow a bit anticlimactic ..., 1 Nov 2012
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This review is from: A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series) (Hardcover)
I dove into it with enthusiasm as expected, but by the time I'd reached the end I was surprised to find myself wondering if I'd ever pick it up off the shelf again, and considering it's a pretty pricey book, had I known that I might have held off from ordering.

I agree with any other reviewers who consider it utopian, certainly in the city/community planning sense, although at the same time I'd have to admit that I agree with many of the ideas. It was really in the details of planning a house that it disappointed and as that was the section I most looked forward to, well, "bummer" (to stick with the lovely touchy-feely hippie vernacular the book inspires).

I don't know as I'd call many of the patterns having to do with house building 'utopian' but I sure would call them either impractical or impracticable -- or both. I happen to have a summer home with thick walls as prescribed, but they're stone walls as most thick walls would be, I'd think, and so they hardly fit the notion of flexible/re-shape-able walls which are so highly recommended as one means by which generations can leave their mark on a house thus making it a home. That's all very nice in theory, and if you're designing a house to be built from scratch maybe you can incorporate this and more of the ideas within, but for so many of us it just isn't a reality.

Fine, perhaps the book was intended for architects when written and still is most suited to them. I daresay even they, however, would have a heck of a time getting all rooms both oriented South and with windows on at least two sides, and with varying ceiling heights -- if for no other reason than the increase in cost.

And for heaven's sake, don't get me started on all the ideas relating to the bathing rooms or on all the exposed shelving in the kitchens!
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Location: Athens, Greece

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