Led by the Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign, the Resnick Sustainability Resource Center will be a dynamic hub for critical research into the most pressing climate and sustainability challenges. The building will unite experts from across the physical sciences, life sciences, and engineering in shared spaces with access to unparalleled instrumentation to advance novel solutions that extend beyond any single discipline.

The Architect’s Newspaper piece – Yazdani Studio previews a glass-cloaked sustainability research hub and Caltech – shares new renderings for the project and a deeper look at the design. It notes, “cloaked in undulating glass curtain wall on its north and west elevations, the center, when completed, will be the newest and one of the more dramatic architectural landmarks to join Caltech’s fabled campus.” Later in the piece, Mehrdad Yazdani explains, “this is almost a makerspace for scientists that’s not allocated to one single department.” Then he details how the building is deeply sustainable to reflect the incredible work that will occur within.


Playing a starring role is mass timber in an “expression of carbon reduction and renewable materials,” per Yazdani. A soaring, timber-framed atrium will house the center’s social and collaborative spaces, and the swooping glass curtain wall flooding this multi-story space with natural light will incorporate a mass timber grid shell. As Yazdani explained, the project team wanted to use mass timber throughout the entirety of the building but due to the exacting requirements of the research laboratories, it will be restricted to public spaces. In addition to providing abundant natural light, the glazed facade will be treated with aluminum fins tuned to shade the interior while maximizing performance, according to Yazdani. A basement level connected to the atrium will also benefit from natural daylighting.  

Beyond the building’s myriad sustainable elements, the collaborative, cross-disciplinary nature of the Resnick Sustainability Resource Center won’t just benefit graduate students and scientists coming together from varying disciplines/departments. The center’s second floor will be populated by undergraduate classrooms and labs, and every freshman will have at least one class in the building to help immerse them in the importance of climate action and sustainability.