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Local community engagement  /  Construction & architecture

Campus construction and architecture

Caltech is small but prizes excellence and ambition, and that emphasis applies to architecture on the 124-acre campus as well as research and education. Here, you can find information about current construction and renovation projects, design honors, small business support, and the plans governing Caltech construction, with links to learn more.

Current projects

Caltech works to minimize any interference to traffic, parking, or quality of life caused by campus construction projects. However, we know disruptions are inevitable, and we appreciate your patience. Crews are required to follow city construction guidelines and safety protocols, and trucks use city-advised routes.

Ginsburg Center

From 2024 through mid-2026, Caltech will build the Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Center for Quantum Precision Measurement.

"This new building will be a catalyst not only for scientific progress, but also for economic development and community enrichment throughout our region and beyond. I eagerly anticipate the breakthroughs the Ginsburg Center will make possible."
—Assemblymember Chris Holden, at an August 10, 2023, groundbreaking

The Ginsburg Center will expedite discoveries in multiple scientific fields and help students learn to collaborate at the rich interfaces of quantum physics, computer science, engineering, astronomy, chemistry, and biology.

Public meetings: We thank local and campus community members for coming to events and helping us refine plans to minimize disturbance during construction. On May 15, 2024, the City of Pasadena Planning and Community Development Department held a public hearing and approved a conditional use permit to build the Ginsburg Center. On June 11, the Design Commission held a public hearing for concept design review. These meetings included short presentations by Caltech Facilities Associate Vice President Dave Kang and Adaeze Cadet, an architect from HOK. A design and construction open house was held on campus on October 10, 2023.

Construction update: On Monday, June 17, safety fencing will go up around the entire area affected by construction and lanes on California Boulevard will be shifted south and restriped to keep traffic flowing during construction. Signs will help mark pedestrian detours. We anticipate perceptible noise and dust as the site is excavated, and we appreciate your patience. We expect traffic lanes on California Boulevard to stay open. Please visit the Caltech Facilities website for further construction information, more in-depth updates, and FAQs.

Resnick Sustainability Center

Work is nearly complete on the Resnick Sustainability Center, a future hub for energy and sustainability research just north of San Pasqual Street on the east side of Wilson Avenue. Classes and research will begin in the building this fall, and landscaping north of the building will happen in September. Please visit the Caltech Facilities website for further information about this project.

Please email neighbor@caltech.edu with any construction-related questions or concerns.

The plan that governs Caltech construction

This plan, approved by the City of Pasadena, sets forth rules and guidelines for development on campus:

Recent design recognition

UNESCO Prix Versailles

The Chen Neuroscience Research Building won an international design prize, the UNESCO Prix Versailles for the world's most beautiful campuses. The award recognizes beauty, ecological efficiency, and the reflection of local, natural, and cultural heritage.

AILA honors the future Resnick Sustainability Center

The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles recognized the design for the future Resnick Sustainability Center with a 2021 NEXTLA Honor Award. The design is also featured in Dezeen, a prominent architecture and design magazine.

Pasadena Beautiful recognizes two recent Caltech projects

Pasadena Beautiful's 2021 Commercial Design Awards honored Caltech's garden-wrapped Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Neuroscience Research Building and a complex of 1920s bungalows that Caltech moved from the neuroscience building site to San Pasqual Street and carefully restored and landscaped. The awards, conferred every five years, recognize efforts to create exceptional landscapes that benefit the environment, the community, and people who work and live nearby.

Caltech supports local businesses

More than 70 small businesses earned a total of $36 million in 16 recent construction and renovation projects on Caltech's campus (as of 2021). And currently, the construction of the Resnick Sustainability Center involves and supports more than 100 workers.