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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

In 2024–2025, 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.

This spring, safety fencing will go up around the entire site and it will be excavated. We anticipate perceptible noise and dust, and pedestrian detours, and we appreciate your patience. Traffic lanes on California Boulevard will stay open. Demolition of old concrete is in progress and the basement will be dug this spring. We appreciate your patience with the disturbance.

A note to neighbors: We welcome conversations with you as we begin this project. Many thanks to those neighbors who came to campus for a design and construction open house on October 10, 2023, talking with architects from HOK, representatives of the local company Charles Pankow Builders, and Caltech physicists and facilities leaders. Please email neighbor@caltech.edu with any questions or concerns.

Resnick Sustainability Center

The Resnick Sustainability Center, a future hub for energy and sustainability research, is being built just north of San Pasqual Street on the east side of Wilson Avenue. With the building exterior nearly complete, most work will focus on the interior and the surrounding landscape. You may notice concrete trucks as workers create walkways and other outdoor features through May. Currently, this work is under way north of San Pasqual walk and between Braun, Noyes, and Schlinger laboratories.

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.