Caltech Keck Institute for Space Studies

Caltech Keck Institute for Space Studies

The Caltech / Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) is a renovation and addition to the historic Tolman Bacher House on the Caltech campus. This “think and do tank” has the primary purpose of bringing together a broad spectrum of scientists and engineers for sustained interaction to develop new space mission concepts and technology. The landscape design re-defined the main campus axis and created a garden designed to facilitate collaboration and inspiration. With fruit trees, bioswales, and permeable paving strategies, and constant contact between human and nature, the high-performance half-acre landscape epitomizes a modern California Garden.


California Institute of Technology


.54 Acres


Pasadena, California



Project team

  • Lehrer Architects Architect
  • Barbara Hall P.E. Civil Engineer


  • USGBC LEED Platinum


  • 2014 AIA California, Merit Award for Excellence in Design
  • 2014 AIA Pasadena Foothill Chapter, Honor Award for Excellence in Design
  • 2014 City of Pasadena Historic Preservation Award
  • 2014 Southern California Development Forum, Honor Award
  • 2014 USGBC LA, Sustainable Innovation Award
  • 2014 Westside Urban Forum, Pasadena Foothill, Westside Prize Honor Award