Place That Lives-- Urban Mixed-Use Development in response to Christopher Alexander

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Virginia Tech


How can I design a good building?

There are some buildings and some places that feel so alive and beautiful, and make me want to stay there forever. Is there any method I can use so that I can design one of them?

The main goal of my thesis was to find the answer to that simple question. Supposedly an answer lies in the pattern language developed by Christopher Alexander to allow anyone to design a building that feels alive, and has a special quality that makes buildings and places beautiful. I developed my thesis to use his pattern language to design a 12-story mixed-use -- retail, office, and residential -- project located in downtown Washington, D.C. at 1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW. My thesis introduces the theory and methodology of pattern language, narrates the process of the project development, and presents the resulting building. It also includes the challenges I faced and, with the benefit of hindsight, my further reflections on the project, as well as a brief introduction to the area for further study. The book is organized in chronological order of thesis development.



Mixed-Use, Christopher Alexander, Pattern Language, Urban Development