The Family

From Alexander Patterns....

...assume now, that you have decided to build a house for yourself. If you place it properly, this house can help to form a cluster, or a row of house, or a hill of houses - House Cluster, Row House-s, Housing Hill - or it can help to keep a working community alive - Housing In Between. This next pattern now gives you some vital information about the social character of the household itself. If you succeed in following this pattern, it will help repair Life Cycle and Household Mix in your community.

The Nuclear Family is not by itself a viable social form.

Until a few years ago, human society was based on the Extended Family...

Therefore... Set up processes which encourage groups of 8 to 12 people to come together and establish communal households. Morphologically, the important things are:

  • private realms for the groups and indiviudal that make up the exgtended family: couple's realms, private rooms, sub-households for small families.

  • Common space for shared functions: cooking, working, gardening, child care.

  • At the important crossroads of the site, a place where the entire group can meet and sit together.

Each individual household within the larger family must, at all costs, have a clearly defined territory of its own, which it controls (Your Own Home); treat the individual territories according to the nature of the individual household (House For A Small Family, House For A Couple, House For One Person); and build common space between them, where the members of the different smaller households can meet and eat together (Common Areas At The Heart, Communal Eating). For the shape of the building, gardens, parking, and surroundings, begin with Building Complex...


Alternatives To Traditional Family


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