Houses with smooth hard walls made of prefabricated panels, concrete, gypsum, steel, aluminum, or glass always stay impersonal and dead.


Open your mind to the possibility that the walls of your building can be thick, can occupy a substantial volume—even actual usable space—and need not be merely thin membranes which have no depth. Decide where these thick walls ought to be.

… once the plan is accurate to the nearest 5 or 6 feet, there is a final process in which the smallest spaces - niches, built-in seats, counters, closets and shelves - get built to form the walls. Or of course, you can build this pattern into an existing house. In either case, use the pattern so that it helps to create the proper shapes for rooms - The Shape of Indoor Space (191), the ceiling heights - Alcoves (179), Window Place (180), and Ceiling Height Variety (190), and, on the outside of the rooms, the nooks and crannies of the Building Edge (160).

Where the thickness is 3 or 4. feet, build the thickness and the volume of the walls according to the process described in Thickening the Outer Walls (211); where it is less, a foot or 18 inches, build it from open shelves stretched between deep vertical columns - Open Shelves (200), Columns at the Corners (212). Get the detailed position of the various things within the wall from the patterns which define them: Window Place (180), Closets Between Rooms (198), Sunny Counter (199), Waist-High Shelf (201), Built-in Seats (202), Child Caves (203), Secret Place (204)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 908high-confidence