Caltech wants to build 80K sf mass timber research lab

Funds will come from $750M donation from Wonderful Co. owners Lynda and Stewart Resnick

Los Angeles /
Nov.November 10, 2020 01:00 PM
Thomas F. Rosenbaum, Caltech President, and a rendering of the project
Thomas F. Rosenbaum, Caltech President, and a rendering of the project

The California Institute of Technology wants to build an 80,000-square-foot research laboratory on the east side of its Pasadena campus.

Plans for the Resnick Sustainability Resource Center were unveiled through a staff report to the Pasadena Design Commission, according to Urbanize.

The facility is described in materials submitted to the city as “a hub for energy and sustainability research and state-of-the-art undergraduate teaching labs.”

It’s named after Wonderful Company co-owners Lynda and Stewart Resnick, who donated $750 million to Caltech last year for environmental research, and for the development of the lab.

Wonderful Company, best known for its Wonderful Pistachio product, has been criticized for the environmental impact its high water consumption has in the state. The company also owns Fiji Water and POM Wonderful brands.

The university’s proposed lab would be a glass contemporary structure of mass timber design by CannonDesign’s Yazdani Studio. The plan calls for a three-story building with one additional level underground. Mass timber means the primary load-bearing structure is made of wood materials. The method has been gaining popularity in recent years. Skid Row Housing Trust is planning a mass timber affordable housing project in Skid Row. Mass timber projects are also underway in Cleveland and Paris, among other cities.

The lab’s design could change as the project moves through the review and approvals process. Its construction would require the demolition of the Ruth A. Mead Memorial Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory. [Urbanize]Dennis Lynch


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