Outdoors, people always try to find a spot where they can have their backs protected, looking out toward some larger opening, beyond the space immediately in front of them.


Whatever space you are shaping—whether it is a garden, terrace, street, park, public outdoor room, or courtyard, make sure of two things. First, make at least one smaller space, which looks into it and forms a natural back for it. Second, place it, and its openings, so that it looks into at least one larger space. When you have done this, every outdoor space will have a natural “back”; and every person who takes up the natural position, with their back to this “back”, will be looking out toward some larger distant view.

… the main outdoor spaces are given their character by Site Repair (104), South Facing Outdoors (105) and Positive Outdoor Space (106). But you can refine them, and complete their character by making certain that every space always has a view out into some other larger one, and that all the spaces work together to form hierarchies.

For example: garden seats open to gardens - Garden Seat (176), Half-Hidden Garden (111); activity pockets open to public squares - Activity Pockets (124), Small Public Squares (61); gardens open to local roads - Private Terrace on the Street (140), Looped Local Roads (49), roads open to fields - Green Streets (51), Accessible Green (60); fields open to the countryside, on a great vista - Common Land (67), The Countryside (7). Make certain that each piece of the hierarchy is arranged so that people can be comfortably settled within it, oriented out toward the next larger space.

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 557medium-confidence