Rooms which are too closed prevent the natural flow of social occasions, and the natural process of transition from one social moment to another. And rooms which are too open will not support the differentiation of events which social life requires.


Adjust the walls, opening, and windows in each indoor space until you reach the right balance between open, flowing space and closed cell-like space. Do not take it for granted that each space is a room; nor, on the other hand, that all spaces must flow into each other. The right balance will always lie between these extremes: no one room entirely enclosed; and no space totally connected to another. Use combinations of columns, half-open walls, porches, indoor windows, sliding doors, low sills, french doors, sitting walls, and so on, to hit the right balance.

The Shape of Indoor Space (191) defines the shapes of rooms and minor rooms. This pattern gives more detail to the walls between these rooms. Wherever there are Half-Private Office (152), Six-Foot Balcony (167), Alcoves (179), Sitting Circle (185), Bed Alcove (188), Building Thoroughfare (101), Arcades (119), or The Flow Through Rooms (131), the spaces must be given a subtle balance of enclosure and openness by partly opening up the walls or keeping them half-open.

Wherever a small space is in a larger space, yet slightly separate from it, make the wall between the two about half-open and half-solid - Alcoves (179), Workspace Enclosure (183). Concentrate the solids and the openings, so that there are essentially a large number of smallish openings, each framed by thick columns, waist high shelves, deep soffits, and arches or braces in the corners with ornament where solids and openings meet - Interior Windows (194), Columns at the Corners (212), Column Place (226), Column Connections (227), Small Panes (239), Ornament (249)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 893medium-confidence