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Caltech breaks ground on a new center to study climate and sustainability

Building Team

Caltech breaks ground on a new center to study climate and sustainability

An undulating glass curtain wall will flood the Resnick Sustainability Resource Center with light and put science on display.

By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | May 20, 2022
Caltech Resnick Sustainability Resource Center
Courtesy Cannon Design.

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) recently broke ground on its Resnick Sustainability Resource Center. Designed by the Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign, the 79,500-square-foot Resnick Center will be a makerspace for scientists and a hub for research on climate and sustainability. When it opens in 2024, the building will bring together experts from physical sciences, life sciences, and engineering disciplines in shared spaces, giving them access to instrumentation that will help advance climate solutions.

“We cannot continue to raise generations in a world that is heating up, kids are choking up, and so much of our planet is burning up,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said at the groundbreaking. “This is a moral moment, and so we want to celebrate this moment of contribution.”

A timber-framed atrium will house the center’s social and collaborative spaces. Incorporating a mass timber grid shell, the atrium’s undulating glass curtain wall will flood the multi-story space with natural light. This transparent design aims to put “science on display,” according to a statement from CannonDesign.

The building’s interior spaces include a biosphere engineering facility, a solar science and catalysis center, a remote sensing center, a translational science facility, teaching labs, and lecture and interactive learning spaces. Scientists and graduate students won’t be the only beneficiaries of the new building. On the second floor, the center will house undergrad classrooms and labs, and every first-year undergrad will take at least one class in the building, educating them on the importance of climate action and sustainability.

The Resnick Sustainability Resource Center is made possible by a $750 million gift to Caltech in 2019 by billionaire philanthropists Lynda and Stewart Resnick, owners of The Wonderful Company.

Building Team:

Owner and/or developer: Caltech

Design architect and architect of record: Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign

MEP engineer: AEI

Structural engineer: Saiful Bouquet

General contractor/construction manager: Hensel Phelps

Caltech Resnick Sustainability Resource Center ext 2
Courtesy Cannon Design.
Caltech Resnick Resource Sustainability Center int
Courtesy Cannon Design.


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