Every town has places in it which are so central and desirable that at least 30–50 households per acre will be living there. But the apartment houses which reach this density are almost all impersonal.


To build more than 30 dwellings per net acre, or to build housing three or four stories high, build a hill of houses. Build them to form stepped terraces, sloping toward the south, served by a great central open stair which also faces south and leads toward a common garden.

… at the still higher densities required in the inner ring of the community’s Density Rings (29), and wherever densities rise above 30 houses per acre or are more than four stories high - Four-Story Limit (21), the house clusters become like hills.

Let people lay out their own houses individually, upon the terraces, just as if they were land - Your Own Home (79). Since each terrace overlaps the one below it, each house has its garden on the house below Roof Garden (118). Leave the the central stair open to the air, but give it a roof, in wet or snowy climates - perhaps a glass roof - Open Stairs (158); and place the common land right at the bottom of the stair with playgrounds, flowers and vegetables for everyone - Common Land (67), Connected Play (68), Vegetable Garden (177)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 209low-confidence