Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Applying "Pattern Language" to the Front Path

I selected these images from flickr keeping Alexander's edicts in mind. There really weren't that many good examples--I had to reduce the mosaic from 12 to 9 when I got to something like page 17!

  • Something tall and to the side of the entry way to the path provides a sense of enclosure and a change of light. (images 2, 4, 7, 9)
  • Curves or angles both work equally well for providing a change in pace, a change of direction and help elongate the view (9 is brilliant in this regard) (2, 3, 5, 6)
  • A fence definitely provides enclosure--but not a nekkid fence. There's the separation between the "outside" and inside. (1, 2, 7, 8, 9).

  • Steps are an obvious was to create a change in elevation. (6, 9)
  • As for the centre picture, it's well worth clicking on and taking a close look. I love how the circle provides both a sense of arrival and a stopping place. I love how it is a formal element surrounded by "wild" looking shrubs. The curving path leading away from it creates an inviting mystery. If you do click, note the paving pattern: beautiful and brilliant. I love how it functions as an understated focal point.

    Lessons taken:
    Build the fence. They will come.
    Put something high --a tree--a tall shrub out to one side to create the change in light (though that may not be strictly necessary until my neighbour's Birch dies). If I do that, I can put up an arbour over the front gate to "frame" the view of the front door and invite folks into the "inner sanctum."
    Put a circle in the path--have my paths to the sides of the house radiate out from it.

    Just some food for thought.

    Credits: 1. The Front path, 2. Garden Path, 3. Front path, 4. Property - Front garden and path, 5. Flagstone Path., 6. green steps, 7. Garden in Slaughter, 8. Aunt's House: Front Lawn, 9. TH - good taste frontage
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