Caltech Linde + Robinson Labratory
A shining example of the sustainable adaptation of unique buildings for new uses, Caltech Linde + Robinson for Global Environmental Science is a significant and historic academic building. Originally built in 1932 to accommodate the 200-inch Palomar Telescope, the building also contained a solar telescope (coelostat) that extended 60 feet below the sub-basement floor and still tracks the sun and sends daylight deep into the basement lab spaces, as well as an astrological observation dome. The telescope’s 55-foot deep pit now holds 58,000 gallons of water to serve a cooling system, providing compressor-free cooling most of the year. Upon completion, this was the lowest energy use laboratory in the U.S.
While preserving and restoring the historic architectural elements of the building within a fully operating campus, we strengthened the existing shear walls, added a new exit stair, elevator and light well, and refurbished the coelostat telescope and its optics. Additionally, a complete build out of new libraries was done on the lower level, along with buildouts on the upper levels for professor and student offices, code upgrades, site hardscape and landscape improvements, and building systems