The Village

Throughout the 19th century, villages arose as markets. Farmers needed a place to buy and sell crops and livestock and to buy things they could not provide for themselves. Villages appeared at the crossing of section roads, often near gristmills or sawmills on rivers. The early village might have contained a school, a church, a general store, a post office, a blacksmith shop, a cooper's shed, and, possibly, a factory for tanning hides or making cheese. Village rhythms measured the possibilities...

Design Analysis Tool

The solar envelope provides architects and urban planners with a design analysis tool for understanding and implementing solar access to buildings for both passive and active systems, for solar heating, solar control, and day lighting. The solar envelope provides zoning for low-impact development and opens new aesthetic possibilities for both architecture and urban design. One of the chief objections to solar-access zoning has come from developers concerned with the loss of property rights. But...

Ashtabula County Ohio

State of Ohio Ashtabula County, in black, is located in the northeastern corner on the shores of Lake Erie. State of Ohio Ashtabula County, in black, is located in the northeastern corner on the shores of Lake Erie. Ashtabula County, in the northeast corner of Ohio, typifies the ways American life has changed during the last two centuries. Settlers began to arrive in the late 1700s and, throughout the 1800s, the county gradually filled with small family farms. Villages emerged as complements to...

The Bedouin

The Bedouin of North Africa and Arabia follow desert rhythms. Having no permanent settlements, they carry lightweight, portable tents, following a way of life that has persisted at least since domestication of the camel around 1600 BCE.3 Keeping within their tribal areas, Ruwala families of Arabia spend the summer months near the Mediterranean Sea. In September, they move away from the sea to grasslands where they remain through the winter, camping near wells for periods ranging from a day to...

Rhythmic Boundaries in Space

Spatial boundaries in the natural world have their own rhythmic character. For example, in the Owens Valley of California, where a 30-year precipitation cycle has been observed, separate plant communities advance and retreat. Yellow pine advances during wet years while chaparral advances during dry ones. The result is a region of mixing, a tension zone between the two plant communities where natural conditions are in constant flux. Rhythmic boundaries can be seen in nature at all scales. Almost...

Greater Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a story of water and cars. Water made growth possible in the semidesert of Southern California. The Owens Valley Growth of Major Surface Roads in Greater Los Angeles Early, middle, and late 20th Century. Aqueduct was completed in 1913, and with a seemingly unlimited water supply obtained from 120 miles (194 km) away, Los Angeles began to grow. Prior to the building of the aqueduct, local water could only support a population of about 250,000 people. Today, water brought from the...

The Spanish House

Toldo Courtyard House

Photo supplied by John S. Reynolds. A Spanish Courtyard House. Photo supplied by John S. Reynolds. Spanish Toldo Closed and open. From Courtyards Aesthetic, Social, and Thermal Delight by John S. Reynolds 2002,187 Spanish Toldo Closed and open. From Courtyards Aesthetic, Social, and Thermal Delight by John S. Reynolds 2002,187 The traditional courtyard houses of southern Spain gain comfort by means that transform space by day and by season. John Reynolds has described...

Courtyards Elongated North to South

Daily changes of light and shadow are the most persistent influence when the courtyard is elongated north and south. There are, of course, seasonal changes as well but as in the Gothic transept or a north-south running street, it is the daily rhythm that is most intensely felt. The longer courtyard walls on the east and west cast the bigger shadows and are the overriding influence on where people are likely to stroll or to sit. The diagrammatic example shows simple courtyard walls of equal...

Bibliography

Philadelphia Titus, Simmons and Titus. Bateson, Gregory. 1979. Mind and Nature A Necessary Unity. New York E. P. Dutton. Beatley, Timothy. 2000. Green Urbanism Learning from European Cities. Washington, DC Island Press. -2004. Native to Nowhere Sustaining Home and Community in a Global Beatley, Timothy and Kristy Manning. 1997. The Ecology of Place Planning for Environment, Economy, and Community. Washington, DC Island Press. Benfield, F. Kaid, et al. 2000....

House Cleaning

Seasonal adjustments of a house do not always occur so dramatically as with the foregoing examples a house is also transformed and can take on new meaning when people clean, paint, hang cur- The Two Types of Sliding Doors in a Traditional Japanese House Top the opaque fusuma that serve as interior partitions Bottom the translucent shoji that separate indoors from outdoors. The doors slide back and forth in matching tracks mounted above on the beams and below on the floors or they can be removed...

The Berber Tent

Like the Bedouins described in the last chapter, the Berbers of Morocco move from place to place.5 Along the way, they adjust their tents to match the season. In summer, wall curtains are thrown up on the roof and the tent becomes an open sunshade where breezes blow through. Living space and view expand outward. Families can look inside the lives of other families. Children can run freely in one side and out the other, from tent to tent. Then in winter, the wall curtains are dropped and reed...

Worldwide Urbanization

Los Angeles is the stereotypical example, but unprecedented growth is by no means limited to one city or even to the United States. It is a worldwide phenomenon. The U.S. Census Bureau projects a global population by 2050 of over 9 billion people.5 This increase is a major force driving the growth of cities. In 1950, only 8 countries in the world, half of them in Europe, contained at least one city of 5 million or more. By 2015, 34 countries are projected to do so, on every major continent...

Model for Solar Access

The model for the solar envelope is found in the ancient settlements of North America. Here, a thousand years ago, settlements were laid out for solar access. Acoma Pueblo, located on a plateau about 50 miles 80 km west of modern Albuquerque, New Mex- Acoma Pueblo Terraced houses are well designed to absorb the low winter sun and protect from the higher summer sun. Perspective drawing by Gary S. Shigemura in Energy and Form by Knowles 1974,27. Acoma Pueblo Terraced houses are well designed to...

Rituals of Day and Season

Rituals expand the pulse of our life in a place. Taking morning coffee on Vienna's Graben, friends may meet every morning during warmer months, something they are accustomed to doing along Stairways and Doors Wandl Hotel,Vienna Ritual door, Suquamish,Washington. Stairways and Doors Wandl Hotel,Vienna Ritual door, Suquamish,Washington. with many others who eventually fill the empty chairs and tables. Feeding pigeons in the Stadtpark brings daily attention and meaning to an otherwise solitary...

Ralph L. Knowles

Gregory Bateson, Mind and Nature A Necessary Unity New York E. P. Dutton, 1979 , 29, 68. 2. It is ironic that Thomas Edison, developer of the first electrical distribution system, unsuccessfully advocated local grids and local power plants rather than huge, far-flung systems. 3. Ralph Knowles, For Those Who Spend Time in a Place, PLACES 8 2 1992 11-14. 1. Ralph L. Knowles, Energy and Form An Ecological Approach to Urban Growth Cambridge MIT Press, 1974 , 1off. 2. W. A. Chalfant, The Story of...

Looking to the Future

Olynthus Design Principles

The benefits of solar-access zoning can be realized around the world. The results of the Los Angeles studies, done at 34 n, can apply directly to any city at approximately the same latitude either north or south of the equator. Some of these are Baghdad, Tehran, Kabul, Lahore, Osaka, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. For cities at other latitudes, the size and shape of the solar envelope will vary, but the basic principles hold. Investigations of the solar envelope have also been done in...

Courtyards and the Interstitium

Courtyard buildings, because they are so common throughout the world, deserve special attention for the advantages they offer as an urban type. In making a strong supporting argument for the courtyard, architect John Reynolds has described its many traditional uses. Courtyards serve buildings of nearly every imaginable function. Residences are often . . . designed around courtyards, because courtyards offer both privacy and access to nature. Commercial activities also benefit. For example,...

The Indian House

Indian Rich Urban Houses

The rhythms of life in southern India are set by the monsoon. While northwestern India is extremely dry, southern regions have a predominantly coastal climate with the Arabian Sea to the west, the Indian Ocean to the south, and the Bay of Bengal to the east. Most of the year is hot and humid with a cooler monsoon season starting toward the end of May and continuing until early September.8 Celebrating the monsoon's arrival evokes a series of distinctly Indian customs ranging from small, private...