Category: Program

Program: OSL Foundation + Guest Faculty Residences

There are three general components for the Open Source Learning Academy: the academy itself, the OSL Foundation and Retreat Center, and guest faculty residences.  The program for the OSL Academy can be found here, with this post focusing on the Foundation + Retreat Center and Guest Faculty Residences.

OSL Foundation + Retreat Center

While the OSL Academy can be seen as a flagship model of OSL here on the central coast, Open Source Learning is part of an international movement.  While there are pockets of innovative approaches to student-centered learning literally all over the world, the OSL Foundation provides a resource to catalyze this as as movement.  The assumption in this program is that spatial needs for administration for the OSL Academy will be shared or crossover with the OSL Foundation.

OSL Foundation
OSL Academy Administration
  • Principal / Asst Principal Offices:   150 s.f. each
  • Reception / Administration area:   300 s.f.
    • Assume space for two admins
  • Copy Room / Files / Staff Room:   300 s.f.
  • Nurse / Health Office:                    150 s.f.
  • Conference / Board Room:            300 s.f.
OSL Foundation Administration
  • Executive Director:                      150 s.f. +
  • Assist. Director:                           150 s.f.
  • Open Office Work Area:       +/-  600 s.f.
    • about 4-6 people working with web-design, publications, and on-line toolkit.
  • Assumption: share reception and admin support, and Board Room with OSL Academy Admin.
OSL Foundation Retreat Center

In addition to the OSL Foundation’s strong on-line presence, the foundation will host conferences and retreats.  To what extent this retreat center is incorporated into the academy is open to interpretation.  When not used for conferences, this area is likely to be used for staff meetings and workshops.  As the teachers in the OSL Academy are perhaps one of the greatest resources to those attending a retreat here, one may take into consideration adjacency or cross-over use for teacher offices and/or lounge.   While perhaps small in square footage relative to the rest of the program, the retreat center should leave an impression on what OSL is all about.

  • Two Studio sized rooms: 1,500 s.f. each
    • can be combined into single 3,000 s.f. room for large events

Approximate total for OSL Foundation:

  • OSL Academy Admin:   1 ,350 s.f.
  • OSL Foundation Admin:   900 s.f.
  • OSL Retreat Center:      3,000 s.f.

    5,250 s.f. + 20 % Grossing Factor (circulation and MEP): 6,300 s.f.

Guest Faculty Residences

Central to the pedagogical approach of OSL Learning is to bring outside mentors and teachers into the learning environment.  With the climate and character along the central coast, the residences provide accommodations for guests from all over the world integrated with their time at OSL Academy.   The duration of residency is not defined, but one can assume that those staying as guest faculty are taking a deep-dive into OSL regardless of their duration.  As guest faculty may have families of their own, the OSL Guest Faculty residences provides housing for both families and individuals.

  • 2-3 suites, shared with four individuals providing private bedrooms, but shared living / kitchen area:  800-1000 s.f. each
  • 2-3 family apartments: 800-1000 s.f. each

    Approximate area for residences 6,000 s.f.

Program: OSL Academy

There are three general components for the Open Source Learning Academy: the academy itself, the OSL Foundation and Retreat Center, and guest faculty residences.  This post will focus on the OSL Academy, and this post will focus on the Foundation and Guest Faculty Residences.

OSL Academy

The Academy program is organized around (3) 150 student clusters + 4 interest zones with particular spatial needs: Media Design, Culinary Design, Product Design (Maker Space), and Organizational Design.  How the individual clusters are organized, as well as the relationship between interest zones and the clusters is open to interpretation.  The space requirements accounted for below are given to identify overall square footage for the school, but precisely how these are allocated as well as how explicitly they are defined is core to how you perceive Open Source Learning.

150 Student Clusters x 3 (total student population about 450 students)
  • (5) learning spaces for maximum 20-30 students each:    800 s.f. each
  • (1) lab space:                                                                    1200 s.f.
  • Teacher collaboration space:                                             800 s.f.
  • Flex Collaboration / Circulation space:                            1200 s.f.

    Total per Cluster: 7,200 s.f. (each)

Media Design

Media design incorporates traditional aspects of arts with communication through audio / visual and graphic design (print and web design).

  • Black Box Theater (50’x50′ min. 20 feet high, two stories preferred):    2,500 s.f.
  • Audio / Visual Studio:         1,500 s.f.
  • A/V Instrument Storage:        250 s.f.
  • Sound Recording Booth:       150 s.f.
  • Art / Graphics Studio:         1,500 s.f.
  • A/G Storage:                          250 s.f.
  • Flex Area for Media / Technology Playground: +/- 850 s.f.

    Approximate area for Media Design: 7,000 s.f.

Product Design

Product design is focused around physical design from product to industrial to engineering and architectural design.  The maker space is the center point of the product design interest area.  Note that aspects of media design, such as the media / technology playground may crossover with interests in product design.

  • Maker Space / Tools:           2,000 s.f.
  • Storage:                                   500 s.f. (min)
  • Project Lab:                         1,000 s.f

    Approximate area for Product Design: 3,500 s.f.

Culinary Design

Culinary design capitalizes on the agriculture and food industries along the Central Coast.  This includes farm-to-table movements, Slow food movement, etc.  The Culinary Design interest area also incorporates food service for the school.  While the focus here is on space needs, adjacency should be provided to outdoor areas for gardening.  A precedence for this can be seen in culinary incubators / community kitchens with a fairly extensive report here.   The focal point of culinary design is the culinary studio – which is essentially a teaching kitchen, configured like a lab with multiple bench kitchens for students to experiment.  How food is presented and shared is also of considerable consideration, but is not programmed here as it is assumed to be part of assumptions built-into commons.

  • Culinary Studio:         1,500 s.f.
  • Dry Storage:                  250 s.f.
  • Walk-In Freezer:            125 s.f.
  • Walk-In Refrigerator:     125 s.f.
  • Food Prep (industrial school kitchen): 1,500 s.f.

    Approximate area for Culinary Design: 3,500 s.f.

Organizational Design

While Organization Design may have less needs for physical space and specific equipment needs in the other interest areas, organizational design has precedence in incubators and other small office start-ups.   This could be conceived as a series of club spaces, think-tanks, or fishbowl like conference rooms.   Without particular equipment needs, this interest area is open to wide interpretation.

Approximate area for Organizational Design: 3,500 s.f.

In addition to these unique interest areas, there are three other program aspects involved in high-school design: library, commons, and athletics.  Through the Open-source identify, having a traditional library makes little sense, but is rather seen as distributed throughout the school and interest areas.  Consequently there is no specific space allocations for the library, but you may wish to provide specific spaces, such as quite zones in an otherwise fairly social / active school.


While the school is conceived as an open-source commons in itself, there are particular physical space needs that give identity to “the commons”.  This can include both indoor and outdoor areas, and should take into consideration where students may eat, where projects may be shared (a kind of gallery), and importantly, a place where a large majority of the student body can assemble.   The commons will be allocated as a 10% grossing factor of the academic spaces.

  • 7,200 s.f. clusters x 3: 21,600 s.f.
  • Media Design:               7,000 s.f.
  • Product Design:            3,500 s.f.
  • Culinary Design:            3,500 s.f.
  • Organizational Design:  3,500 s.f.

    39,100 s.f. x 10 % =  +/- 4,000 s.f. for commons


The studio debate around the role of athletics for the open-source learning academy is productive.  While the stereotype of “jock” may seem out of place at the OSL Academy, there is an important role in the kind of physical and mental fitness that sports can provide.  We can define this physical and mental fitness as wellness.  Looking into the intent behind wellness centers will provide a good precedence for this.  The focal point of most athletic programs is the gym.  Even if your vision of the OSL Academy does not include formalized athletics, consider that gyms also provide a venue for assembly, often double as an auditorium, as well as used as multi-purpose spaces.  If a gym is consciously not part of your vision for the OSL Academy, these other functions of the gym will need to be handled through the commons.  Like the commons, it is assumed wellness will include exterior activities, the following is only to establish square footage for the academy:

  • Gym 80’x100′ (double story, court size 50’x84′): 8,000 s.f.
    • If Gym is not provided, similar volume will need to be provided to support other functions mentioned above.
  • Restrooms / Locker Rooms:  1,500 s.f. (1 each male and female)
    • Note this is needed even without gym.
  • Kinesthetic studio: 1,200 s.f.
    • Open to interpretation/use for yoga, dance, zen…
  • Optional: expand on your interpretation of wellness.  For example, another studio with training equipment, or a spin class, or maybe even a bike kitchen.

    Approximate area for Wellness: 12,200 s.f.

Final Summary:
  • 7,200 s.f. clusters x 3:   21,600 s.f.
  • Media Design:                  7,000 s.f.
  • Product Design:                3,500 s.f.
  • Culinary Design:                3,500 s.f.
  • Organizational Design:      3,500 s.f.
  • Commons:                         4,000 s.f.
  • Wellness:                          12,200 s.f.

    Sub-total: 55,300 s.f. x 20% Grossing Factor (circulation and MEP) = 66,360 s.f. 

         (this does not include administration for the OSL academy, which is assumed to be shared with OSL foundation)