Caltech Markus Meister Laboratory Renovation

Caltech Marcus Meister Lab

Caltech Markus Meister Laboratory Renovation

Lab Renovation to Attract Top Talent

To attract world-class researcher Markus Meister to Caltech, our design team worked with him to plan a custom interdisciplinary laboratory to foster research collaboration and discovery in his field: the biology of the eye. Professor Meister’s research involves understanding circuits of nerve cells in the brain, specifically studying the visual system. The primary experiments, neural recordings, are performed in dark rooms in which all external light must be eliminated since the input to the visual system must be completely controlled during the experiment.

Since researchers spend as much time experimenting as they do analyzing and writing, we designed the offices to be brightly lit, energizing spaces that counteract the effects of time spent working in the dark. Outside the labs, the use of luminescent walls, which change colours every few seconds, creates a dynamic environment.

Researchers spend a significant amount of time in the controlled-light research spaces. Individual experimental stations, “setups,” typically include a vibration isolation table with a microscope, two moveable racks of electronics and computers, and an operator’s chair. Combining the new kitchenette with an open meeting area generated a communal gathering space, giving the research team an impromptu place to collaborate within the lab. Ultimately, the renovated lab project brought the department a new sense of community and identity.

Caltech Marcus Meister Lab

Pasadena, CA
United States

6000 sf (557 m²)