I have but one book from my undergraduate studies in the School of Architecture that I have kept close to me. My favorite pages are dog eared, referenced passages are highlighted in pink and the worn jacket is evidence of my admiration. It is called, A PATTERN LANGUAGE Towns – Buildings – Construction by the Center for Environmental Structure out of Berkeley, California.
It is a small, fat, red bound book that could easily be mistaken for a bible. I inherited a love of books from both my parents who have their own library legacy – one of facts and ideology and one of passion and adventure. Both my children who are
under twenty years of age already own more books than any other possession. It is no wonder then that I design more home libraries and library style built-ins than anything else. A passion for books runs in my blood and this particular book speaks to my heart.
A PATTERN LANGUAGE describes, or rather deconstructs, the sacred connection between our built environments, the natural one and the people who use them. It details deeply rooted archetypal patterns which foster spirit and joy from alcoves and paths to pools of light and from the smallest scale of one’s garden to the larger sense of space we call towns and cities.
I have a kindred understanding for this particular vernacular stemming from a time when I built forts and treehouses and explored walled villages in Europe as a child, when I ran retirement developments for the aging as a young adult to this current moment when I am building out a 4,000 sq ft home for a family in metamorphasis while designing five other interiors for couples looking to nurture a new facet of themselves. While it is an intuition more so than a cerebral one, A PATTERN LANGUAGE does a splendid job of breaking the causes of those feelings into timeless design specifics. I dedicate this year’s blogs to this book and the path of inspiration it has set before me.
Enjoy the new year and take the time to
discover your own sacred connection to place.