Broad Center for the Biological Sciences, Caltech

This flexible academic facility, designed to accommodate every type of biological research, is adaptable to constantly evolving scientific methods and technologies.

In addition to generic laboratories and support spaces, the building houses four major specialized components, including an experimental MRI suite, a high-resolution X-ray diffraction facility, an electronic diffraction facility, and a vivarium. A variety of semipublic spaces are accessible from a circulation spine that penetrates the building along both axes and invites entry from all four sides, connecting visitors to a café, lounges, and auditorium and linking important outdoor spaces to the Great Lawn.

Show Facts

Northwest of the Beckman Institute on the Cal Tech campus


120,000 ft2 / 11,000 m2 gross area; research laboratories and support spaces, plus four specialized facilities for experimental MRI, electronic diffraction, high-resolution X-ray diffraction, and vivarium; auditorium/lecture hall; seminar room, lobby lounges, cafe, and Oak Courtyard


California Institute of Technology

PCF&P Services

Architecture; exterior envelope; interior design of public spaces

lead designer

James Ingo Freed

Conceived as a bridge as well as a destination, Broad Center occupies a gateway site, the first of approximately ten new buildings that form Caltech’s North Campus. Exterior materials and massing respect the established character of the southern California school while reflecting the varied functions housed within.
Project Credits

Executive Architect: SmithGroup Inc., Santa Monica, CA; Structural: Ove Arup & Partners, Los Angeles; Mechanical / Electrical: Ove Arup & Partners, Los Angeles; Laboratory Consultant: Kornberg Associates Architects, Menlo Park, CA; Images: Timothy Hursley, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners