Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Pattern Language: Indoor Sunlight

From A Pattern Language:
128 Indoor Sunlight
If the right rooms are facing south, a house is bright and sunny and cheerful; if the wrong rooms are facing south, the house is dark and gloomy.

Everyone know this. But people may forget about it, and get confused by other considerations. The fact is that very few things have so much effect on the feeling inside a room as the sun shining into it. If you want to be sure that your house, or building, and the rooms in it are wonderful, comfortable places, give this pattern its due. Treat it seriously; cling to it tenaciously; insist upon it. Think of the rooms you know which do have sunshine in them, and compare them with the many rooms you know that don't.
Place the most important rooms along the south edge of the building, and spread the building out along the east-west axis.
This pattern ties into 105 South Facing Outdoors
Always place buildings to the north of the outdoor spaces that go with them, and keep the outdoor spaces to the south.
.Our house runs on a north-south axis. We have only two windows on the south side, one of which is in a bathroom, and the other of which is in our bedroom (which, following the pattern, is one of the most pleasant rooms in the house). The kitchen faces full east and gets the brunt of the morning sun, while the long south-facing wall in the living room has NO windows at all. The office upstairs has a west-facing window and is almost uninhabitable in the afternoon when the sun is shining straight on it. And the girls' bedroom has one north-facing window and always seems dark and a little gloomy.

One of the reasons that we don't use the backyard much during the afternoon is that there's no transition from the back door to the little patio -- you have to step straight from the shade of the kitchen into the full sunlight.

I love natural light and prefer to keep the electric lights off as much as possible during the sunlight hours. But I wish this house had been designed to take advantage of the wealth of Texas sunlight a bit more.

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