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What is a pattern?

It is a recurring problem in the process of design or construction. You can't specify its form precisely, because it has to be adapted to each particular situation, but it has to have certain features for the pattern to work well.

In the pattern “Intimacy gradient”, you want the public or common areas of the building to be close to the entrance, and at the center of things, and the more private areas far off into the corners. But you want the common services joining the common areas – otherwise you have apartments where you must cross the bedroom to reach the bathroom; visits are always uncomfortable!