Within the four-story height limit, just exactly how high should your buildings be?


First, decide how many square feet of built space you need, and divide by the area of the site to get the floor area ratio. Then choose the height of your buildings according to the floor area ratio and the height of the surrounding buildings from the following table. In no case build on more than 50 percent of the land.

… assume now, that you know roughly how the parts of the building complex are to be articulated - Building Complex (95), and how large they are. Assume, also, that you have a site. In order to be sure that your building complex is workable within the limits of the site, you must decide how many stories its different parts will have. The height of each part must be constrained by the Four-Story Limit (21). Beyond that, it depends on the area of your site, and the floor area which each part needs.

Once you have the number of stories and the area of each part clear, decide which building or which part of the building will be the Main Building (99). Vary the number of floors within the building - Cascade of Roofs (116). Place the buildings on the site, with special reverence for the land, and trees, and sun - Site Repair (104), South Facing Outdoors (105), Tree Places (171). In your calculations, remember that the effective area of the top story will be no more than three quarters of the area of lower floors if it is in the roof, according to Sheltering Roof (117).

If the density is so high all around, that it is quite impossible to leave 50 per cent of the site open (as might be true in central London or New York), then cover the ground floor completely, but devote at least 50 per cent of the upper floors to open gardens - Roof Garden (118).

Give each story a different ceiling height - bottom story biggest, top story smallest - and vary the column spacings accordingly - Final Column Distribution (213). The same building system applies, whether there are 1, 2, 3 or 4 stories - Structure Follows Social Spaces (205).

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 473medium-confidence