The Keck Institute for Space Studies at the California Institute of Technology has a new modernist home that was just awarded LEED Platinum. Designed by Lehrer Architects, the space studies think tank features movable walls and a seemingly endless white board for discussion and the development of new ideas. Now the institute's team of engineers, scientists and researchers from around the world have a beautiful and engaging space filled with daylight to develop new concepts for the final frontier.
The design of the Keck Institute for Space Studies called for not only the construction of a new modernist building, but also the historic renovation of the Tolman-Bacher House, a mission-style building constructed back in 1926. The renovated building, which was used for faculty housing, was converted to provide space for offices and meeting rooms. Giving respect to the scale and style of the bungalow, Lehrer Architects designed the new building of similar stature, but with a modern twist and created a new outdoor courtyard between the two to extend usable space in a natural environment.
The goal of the building was to create an engaging place for experts in many different fields to come and work together. This required the facility to be hyper-functional with a variety of flexible arrangements provided via movable walls and other capabilities. Daylight fills the space from above and from all sides, while white boards line the walls to provide endless space to share new ideas. Natural ventilation and the stack effect ensures a comfortable environment and the ability to enjoy Pasadena’s temperate climate. The Keck Institute for Space Studies was recently awarded LEED Platinum certification and was officially opened to the public on September 15, 2014.
Images ©Benny Chan