California Institute of Technology – Hameetman Student Center

  • area / size 25,000 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • GGA+ completed the Hameetman Student Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.

    The new student center serves to activate campus life by transforming a once underused area into a central social hub for the Caltech community. Respecting the historically significant context of the Olive Walk, the project was originally conceived as a renovation of a mid-century building.

    Through collaborative analysis between owner/builder/architect, it was identified that a replacement building would be both economically sound and more fully aligned with the Institute’s mission of creating a collegial, interdisciplinary environment.

    The new LEED Gold Certified center provides a bookstore, café and lounge, multi-purpose lecture hall, music rehearsal hall, club rooms, and a large outdoor patio which engages and connects the center of campus radially.

    Already highly integrated into the campus as a space for gathering and exchange, the new student center has been proclaimed by Institute leadership as “the building that should have always been there.”

    This renovation focused on maximizing open gathering space, and minimizing impact on outdoor spaces. The project also aimed to maximize collaboration and trust through its Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) method – a first for the campus. Guiding Principles for the Hameetman Center renovation were:

    • Provide an interior/exterior environment that facilitates collaboration for all members of the Caltech community
    • Engage and connect the interior functions of the building with all four exterior sides in a way that activates campus life
    • Provide an effective design that will meet the programmed needs and is appropriate for intended uses
    • Design and construct a facility to maximize the quality of all components within the given project budget
    • Incorporate elements / materials / systems that minimizes total cost of ownership

    Design: GGA+
    Photography: courtesy of GGA+