A building in which ceiling heights are all the same is virtually incapable of making people feel comfortable.


Vary the ceiling heights continuously throughout the building, especially between rooms which open into each other, so that the relative intimacy of different spaces can be felt. In particular, make ceilings high in rooms which are public or meant for large gatherings (10 to 12 feet), lower in rooms for smaller gatherings (7 to 9 feet), and very low in rooms for one or two people (6 to 7 feet).

… this pattern helps to form the rooms. It therefore helps to complete all the patterns which define rooms, or arcades, or balconies, or outdoor rooms or minor rooms: in short, just about all of the last 100 patterns. If you have been imagining these spaces while you walk about on the actual site, then all these spaces will already be three-dimensional in your mind: they will be volumes of space, not merely areas on plan. Now, with this pattern, which determines ceiling heights, the next pattern which determines the exact shape of each room, and the remaining patterns in the language, we fill out this three dimensional conception of the building.

The construction of floor vaults will create variations in ceiling height almost automatically since the vault starts about 6 feet 6 inches high and rises a further distance which is one - fifth of the room diameter - Floor-Ceiling Vaults (219). Where ceiling height varies within one story, put storage in the spaces between the different heights - Bulk Storage (145). Get the shape of individual rooms under any given ceiling height from The Shape of Indoor Space (191) and Structure Follows Social Spaces (205); and vary ceiling heights from story to story - the highest ceilings on the ground floor and the lowest on the top floor - see the table in Final Column Distribution (213).

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 876high-confidence