Modern buildings are often shapes with no concern for natural light—they depend almost entirely on artificial light. But buildings which displace natural light as the major source of illumination are not fit places to spend the day.


Arrange each building so that it breaks down into wings which correspond, approximately, to the most important natural social groups within the building. Make each wing long and as narrow as you can—never more than 25 feet wide.

… at this stage, you have a rough position for the building or buildings on the site from South Facing Outdoors (105) and Positive Outdoor Space (106). Before you lay out the interior of the building in detail, it is necessary to define the shapes of roofs and buildings in rather more detail. To do this, go back to the decisions you have already made about the basic social components of the building. In some cases, you will have made these decisions according to the individual case; in other cases you may have used the fundamental social patterns to define the basic entities - The Family (75), House for a Small Family (76), House for a Couple (77), House for One Person (78), Self-Governing Workshops and Offices (80), Small Services Without Red Tape (81), Office Connections (82), Master and Apprentices (83), Individually Owned Shops (87). Now it is time to start giving the building a more definite shape based on these social groupings. Start by realizing that the building needn’t be a massive hulk, but may be broken into wings.

Use the wings to form outdoor areas which have a definite shape, like courts and rooms - Positive Outdoor Space (106); connect the wings, whenever possible, to the existing buildings round about so that the building takes its place within a long and rambling continuous fabric - Connected Buildings (108). When you get further down and start defining individual rooms, make use of the daylight which the wings provide by giving each room Light on Two Sides of Every Room (159).

Give each wing its own roof in such a way that all the wings together form a great cascade of roofs - Cascade of Roofs (116); if the wing contains various houses, or workgroups, or a sequence of major rooms, build access to these rooms and groups of rooms from one side, from an arcade, or gallery, not from a central corridor - Arcades (119), Short Passages (132). For the load bearing structure of the wings, begin with Structure Follows Social Spaces (205)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 524high-confidence