The architecture of the Open Source Learning Academy is carefully designed. The learning spaces are organized and come together to form a comfortable environment. But what really makes the project whole is the life that can be breathed into it through student, faculty, and community life.

With all of the design interest studios on one side, and all of the academic cohort classrooms on the other, there needs to be a strong element present to tie the whole school together. In this project, the main atrium space serves as the active core that all the smaller spaces feed into. This bustling center is similar to the strips in a mall that are lined with a plethora of choices for people to indulge in. Overhead, the roof spans across and folds down to form the RIBBON Gallery, an area blends the interior and exterior, folds up for a reveal lined with clerestory windows, and once again folds down to create a shade for the balcony above the Open Source Foundation. This charter school aims to accommodate different scales of learning by providing spaces tailored especially for individuals, teams, groups, and larger assemblies. The Me-Pods are a series of practice and study rooms that can be reserved for a single person, and can fit up to four people. The Dugout allows classes to spill out into the halls, and provides great views into the atrium. These elements, along with specialized furniture and connections to the outdoors contribute to the bustling atmosphere.

In such a busy school as this, schedules need to be coordinated to make the best use of the spaces provided. Students are allowed to choose their schedules, and move through each day with a “cohort”. Members of the community are encouraged to engage with students and teachers through exhibitions and classes. As an open source learning academy, the school opens early and closes late at night to give everyone a chance to explore and pursue their passions without the constant time constraints. The goal of this thinktank is to invite lifelong learners to come and discover what learning can be like in the 21st Century, to design and create something special, and to dream up new ideas. Flex-Vibes brings people together to mark a new paradigm for education.

This 1/64th scale mass and glass model separates into pieces that make up the program, representing the variety of spaces present within.

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