Christopher Alexander

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Christopher Alexander

Christopher Alexander (born October 4, 1936) is an Austrian-born British architect.


  • In my life as an architect, I found that the single thing which inhibits young professionals, new students most severely, is their acceptance of standards that are too low.

The Timeless Way of Building (1979)[edit]

C. Alexander (1979) The Timeless Way of Building. Oxford University Press,

  • Every place is given its character by certain patterns of events that keep on happening there.... These patterns of events are locked in with certain geometric patterns in the space. Indeed, each building and each town is ultimately made out of these patterns in the space, and out of nothing else; they [patterns in the space] are the atoms and molecules from which a building or a town is made.
  • On the geometric level, we see certain physical elements repeated endlessly, combined in an almost endless variety of combinations... It is puzzling to realize that the elements, which seem like elementary building blocks, keep varying, and are different every time that they occur .... If the elements are different every time that they occur, evidently then, it cannot be the elements themselves which are repeating in a building or town; these so-called elements cannot be the ultimate "atomic" constituents of space.
  • Look more find out what it really is that is repeating there .... Beyond its elements, each building [or town] is defined by certain patterns of relationships among the elements.... These relationships are not extra, but necessary to the elements... The elements themselves are patterns of relationships.
    • Cited in: Peter Coad (1992, p. 152) About To find patterns, what does one look for?
  • One begins to think with that new building block, rather than with littler pieces. And finally, the things which seem like elements dissolve, and leave a fabric of relationships behind, which is the stuff that actually repeats itself, and gives the structure to a building or a town.
    • Cited in: Peter Coad (1992, p. 152) About what happens when one finds a pattern?

External links[edit]

Encyclopedic article on Christopher Alexander at Wikipedia