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Resnick Sustainability Institute / Joint Center For Artificial Photosynthesis, Caltech

Pasadena, CA
2012

The 31,400 square-foot Resnick Institute / JCAP at Caltech houses two institutes whose collective mission is to address the challenges in the generation, storage, transmission, and conservation of energy.

To create an appropriate new home for these two centers, the vacant Jorgensen Laboratory, a fortress-like concrete structure originally built in 1974, was transformed into a model of sustainability, energy efficiency, and collaborative creativity. Colors from the visible light spectrum (the rainbow) make up the palette for furniture, accent walls, floor patterns, and conference rooms. The first floor core of the building is wrapped with high-resolution satellite images of the rotating Earth. As the scientists circulate through the corridors, these dynamic images continuously remind them of the subject and importance of their research.

Various measures were taken to minimize energy use throughout, including a custom-designed display in the new entry Pavilion lobby that tracks how much energy the building is both using and generating. By physically displaying these systems, the building acts as an educational tool and users take part in energy conservation. The result: a LEED-Platinum certification.

Client

  • California Institute of Technology

General Contractor

  • DPR Construction

Project Team

Awards

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