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The Ojai Foundation School

Ojai, California

The Foundation School serves as an educational and retreat center. The complex of buildings was designed as a village surrounding a central commons large enough for the entire community to gather in celebration or performance. Using rammed earth as the primary building material, the project combines ancient wisdom of form and place with a high level of ecological intelligence. The design reflects a thorough understanding of the natural factors on site and responds by employing the following ecological design principles.

  • Sun/shade - Summer shading and winter sun access.
  • Water - Rainwater collection, purification, and greywater recycling.
  • Wind - Cross-ventilation and cooling towers.
  • Earth - Thermal mass for summer cooling and winter heating integration into the land form.
  • Energy - Solar-heated radiant slab for heat, and photovoltaics for lighting.

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