“I am interested in one question above all – how to make beautiful buildings. But I am interested in only real beauty…I wanted to be able to do the real thing – and for that I had to know what the real thing is. The reason was not intellectual curiosity – but only the practical reason that I wanted to be able to do it myself.”

The Nature of Order: Book 1, The Phenomenon of Life, 2002, p2

Our goal in archiving the work of Christopher Alexander and the Center for Environmental Structure is to make it accessible throughout the world to all those who wish to build and repair living environments in which people thrive.

The archive includes nine sections, listed in the drop-down menu in the top left corner of the page. The first two are dedicated to Christopher Alexander and the C.E.S. The other seven are on Publications, Projects, Works of Art, Construction Innovation, Academic, Scientific Research, and Public Events. The website visitor will start its navigation either by selecting one of the nine menu options or by using the ‘Search’ function.

Within each section, the visitor will select the topic of its interest –book, project, university course, etc.—and all archival records belonging to it and related with it will be listed. The organization of the archive gives emphasis is on the interconnectedness of ideas and practices that Alexander and his colleagues developed from the 1960’s through the 2010’s.

At the launch of this website we are making available some 7000 documents. As additional funding allows, we will work toward making the whole collection available – some 29,000 documents.

This timeline offers a glimpse of Alexander’s multi-faceted work with colleagues, researchers, builders, community leaders, townships, activists, and people who care for the quality and life of the places they live in and the world they inhabit.


Conference on Design Methods, London, UK; presentation of paper “The Determination of Components for an Indian Village”


Community and Privacy: Toward a New Architecture of Humanism, Doubleday & Company, Inc., NY, U.S.A.


Rapid Transit Stations for the Bay Area Rapid Transit, CA, U.S.A


Research Seminar by The Center for Environmental Structure, Inverness, CA, U.S.A.


A Pattern Language Which Generates Multi-Service Centers, C.E.S., CA, U.S.A.


Master Plan for the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, U.S.A.


“A Human City” Exhibition in the Osaka Expo ’70, Kajima Publishing Company, Japan


Research Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects, Houston, TX, U.S.A.


Visiting Lecturer in The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden


The Oregon Experiment, Oxford University Press, NY, U.S.A.


Moshav Shorashim New Settlement, Galilee, Israel


Community Development Plan for North Omaha, NE, U.S.A


The Linz Café, Oxford University Press, NY, U.S.A. & Loecker Verlag, Austria


Housing Plan for Guasare New Town, Maracaibo, Venezuela


Sapporo Apartment Building, Sapporo, Japan


House for John and Mara Lighty, Napa, CA, U.S.A.


Christopher Alexander: The Search for a New Paradigm in Architecture by Steven Grabow, Oriel Press Ltd., U.K.


Fresno Farmers’ Market – Redwood Arched Roof Trusses, CA, U.S.A.


The Production of Houses, Oxford University Press, NY, U.S.A.


Offices and Workshops for Sweet Potatoes Children’s Clothing Factory, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A.


Watercolor sketches by Christopher Alexander for the Office Furniture Systems


New System of Office Furniture System for Haworth Inc., Holland, MI, U.S.A.


House for Ann Medlock and John Graham, Whidbey Island, Seattle, WA, U.S.A.


Eishin Campus – High School: Great Hall Interior Plasterwork, Iruma-shi, Japan


Emoto Apartment Building, Tokyo, Japan

Neighborhood of Seventy Low Cost Houses, Santa Rosa de Cabal, Colombia


Pasadena Zoning Ordinance for Multi-family Housing, CA, U.S.A.


La Jolla Village and Waterfront: Design Charrette and Community Workshop, La Jolla, CA, U.S.A.


Buddhist Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal


The Sullivan House, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A.


Agate Street Dormitory for the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, U.S.A.


“The Living Room” and other oil paintings


“Places for the Soul: The Architecture of Christopher Alexander” film biography by Ruth Landy


The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, U.K.


10th Annual Louis Kahn Memorial Lecture, Philadelphia, PN, U.S.A.


New City Center for Samarkand, Uzbekistan


Frankfurt Parkstadt Housing Project, Germany


The Mary Rose Museum, Oxford University Press, NY, U.S.A.


Keynote Speech at the Eleventh Annual ACM Conference on OOPSLA, San Jose, CA, U.S.A.


Athena Legacy Medal Award at the CNU XIV Congress for New Urbanism, Providence, RI, U.S.A.


Eleventh Vincent Scully Prize, Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Christopher Alexander believed that people have a right to determine and shape their environment

He also believed that good architecture could only come from wholehearted involvement of the users in the shaping of their buildings and streets. Since 1967, C.E.S. had acquired wide-ranging experiences of participation in working with peoples of different cultural and ethnic background, and with people of a wide range of different income levels.

Toward that end, he made two websites to support people and communities in making new places or repairing old places in which they can live better lives.
The Center for Environmental Structure maintains these websites so that people everywhere have access to his thoughts and guidance.
Building Living Neighborhoods

“Wherever You are in the World, if you are Intent on Planning and Building a Thriving Neighborhood, This Website is for You.”

Pattern Language

“These tools allow anyone, and any group of people, to create beautiful, functional, meaningful places. You can create a living world.”

Works of Christopher
Alexander accross the world