Shawn Komlos

X Project Overview

Open Source

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Open Source is a model for new urban living that responds to and extends hyper-local trends native to its neighborhood in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. The building’s site fills a void in the urban fabric that was left after the removal of the Central City Freeway. The emptied mile long swath of lots in downtown San Francisco has been cleared since 2002, and out of use since 1989. Open Source fills the vacuum left by a disruptive piece of infrastructure with a constructive community and a vibrant hub of productive city living.

This drastic shift in urban tides has made Hayes Valley a neighborhood on the rise. A trend of opportunistic use of discarded areas within the city’s fabric (a community farm on top of the abandoned freeway off ramp, a beer garden run out of a shipping container on an asphalt lot, a coffee shop housed in a garage down an alley, art installations scattered along the string of vacant lots left by the double height freeway) is largely responsible for the newfound vibrancy in the area. The self-motivated co-opting of latent spaces and restless entrepreneurial spirit collateral to it are the driving cultural forces behind the programming of hybrid live-work communal spaces in the housing project. The building’s two families of unit types reflect these social conditions. One, two, and three bedroom normative apartments flanking the central courtyard are punctuated with the dispersed program of a shared live-work community. The residents of this hybrid living space favor intermingling and access to the resources over individual ownership and privacy. The open living situation borrows the principles of resource shares, sacrificing large private living rooms and bedrooms to enable shared workshop, studio, garden, and event spaces.

The Open Source housing project’s hybrid living spaces serve as the nexus of productive activity for the community, and its effects amplify the trend of urban improvement through its residents’ entrepreneurial efforts.

Jury Prize Nominee

Core Studio – Thom Faulders

Fall 2012

California College of the Arts


  • Open Source
  • Cocoon
  • Hydrogeographies – Resource Extraction Geographies
  • TetraGrid
  • Spomenik
  • 6th Floor
  • InterWeave
  • PCI – Portland Culinary Institute
  • Music Box SLC
  • EVAirport
  • Webster Lamp
  • Facade Mod