In many modern building complexes the problem of disorientation is acute. People have no idea where they are, and they experience considerable mental stress as a result.


Lay out very large buildings and collections of small buildings so that one reaches a given point inside by passing through a sequence of realms, each marked by a gateway and becoming smaller and smaller, as one passes from each one, through a gateway, to the next. Choose the realms so that each one can be easily named, so that you can tell a person where to go, simply by telling them which realms to go through.

… once you have some rough idea how many buildings you are going to build - Building Complex (95), and how high they are to be - Number of Stories (96), you can work out roughly what kind of layout they should have to make the access to them clear and comfortable. This pattern defines the overall philosophy of layout.

Treat the first entrances to the whole system of circulation realms, the very largest ones, as gateways - Main Gateways (53); make the major realms, which open off the gateways, pedestrian streets or common land - Common Land (67), Pedestrian Street (100); then, make minor realms with individual buildings, and courtyards, and major indoor streets - Main Building (99), Building Thoroughfare (101), Hierarchy of Open Space (114), Courtyards Which Live (115); and mark the entrance to these minor realms with minor entrances that still stand out quite clearly - Family of Entrances (102), Main Entrance (110). Make the layout of paths consonant with Paths and Goals (120)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 480high-confidence