Jet Propulsion Laboratories Administration & Education Complex

2008–2009 | Pasadena CA

Client Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Architect Michael Maltzan Architecture
Associate Architect Gruen Associates
Structural Engineer Guy Nordenson and Associates
Associate Structural Engineer Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

The new 96,000sf Jet Propulsion Laboratories Administration and Education Complex is designed to replace the program and functional requirements of the existing building. The new six-story building includes offices for 220 staff, conference and meeting rooms for the occupants, and a multipurpose room for use by up to 100 people.  This multipurpose space is tied into a larger array of conferencing and exhibition spaces which extend across the building’s lower three levels, comprising a Conference Center for the building and the Lab.  The building will also meet the requirements for LEED Silver certification for sustainable design.

Organized along a nine-square grid within the building’s plan, a series of four structural frames create rigidity, resisting lateral stresses and torsion.  Each frame is constituted of an innovative combination of moment-resisting connections and braces which route lateral forces through the building section to the foundation.  This innovative structural approach allows for the building core to be atomized into smaller constituent elements, enabling the building center to instead be occupied by a network of public spaces and important communicating stairs which link the building sectionally.