These renderings begin to show the type of environment that might lend itself to creating a kind of ‘open source’ learning culture. The ability of students in these common spaces to be connected visually, physically, and even acoustically with the activities, bodies, and objects in spaces on multiple levels. It is important to note, in light of the showcasing of these very open spaces, the importance of combining these with more intimate spaces that can be seen as reflection or refuge spaces that possess contrasting spacial qualities to the common areas.

Note connotations on the right (numbers correlate to image order).

1. Entry Stair and Hall

  • ascends 3 levels: Gym entry level (ground level), Theater (back right on second level) + Gym Overlook, Main Level

2. Dining Hall

  • open to learning kitchen, can be open (slide-away doors) to stairs and central ‘crossbar’ hallway
  • featured 10am on day of tomato night (OSLA Iron Chef, monthly, Fridays 6pm)
  • raised separation from central hallway/circulation core (5′, stepped)
  • views to middle green/outdoor learning and potager gardens

3. Looking toward Cohort learning cluster stack

  • Atrium connects all 3 cohort common rooms and flex spaces– vestibules (orange) allowing each cohort to breathe character of current projects, interests, artwork, etc. into atrium

concept thinking: diagrams + modeling 

Central Plan tells the story of a typical learning cluster, made up of elements 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 20 on each level (see key). The cohort common rooms (13) can also serve as a second hall between the crossbar (central circulation hall) and the flex space adjacent to classroom, discussion room, and lab entries for each level. The 2 flex spaces for each cohort cluster can be used for exhibition, project reviews, and in general provide learning environments that differ from the classroom setting in that they are open to the traffic and energy of the circulation space.

The interesting issue when it comes to the production and progression of this project architecturally, is that much of the conceptual basis and development that has gone on in my mind about how the school will operate can only sort of be hinted at or facilitated in my design (also the question of how successful that hinting and faciliation is so far), not explicitly expressed. Because, the fact of the matter is, many of the ideas are not necessarily spacial problems. Many are closely linked to the (proposed) pedagogical practice of the school. As an architect in reality we would not be making decisions on the policy and the academic structure of a facility we were assigned to design. Although it was unclear if the pedagogy and practice was to be fully developed, I think many of us had our own understandings of how things may run, and were aware of how the spacial aspects would work with and hopefully help those understandings.