Caltech lab's glass walls to give passersby a glimpse of genius

The large windows will allow students to see chemists and chemical engineers working side-by-side on new polymers and chemical research.
The large windows will allow students to see chemists and chemical engineers working side-by-side on new polymers and chemical research. damian m/ Flickr

Caltech's new science building, to be opened on Tuesday, will give the world a view to the research of those inside.

The three-story Warren and Katharine Schlinger Laboratory is encased in glass from the top to the bottom on two sides of the building, the Pasadena Star-News reported.

"We're not hiding what this building is about, which is research,'' Tony Parker, Caltech senior project manager, told the Star-News. "We're celebrating what the building is.''

The large windows will allow students to see chemists and chemical engineers working side-by-side on new polymers and chemical research. From the inside, the windows give views of the San Gabriel Mountains to the north and a canopy of trees that line the south side of the campus.

Parker told the Star-News that the Schlinger Laboratory includes new and larger lab rooms that accommodate up to 30 people, as opposed to current labs that only hold four. The laboratory was built from the inside out.

The labs were designed first and the building was designed around the lab with every design element built to accommodate the science happening in the building.

"It's a dream for the chemist,'' Jaqueline Barton, chair of Caltech's division of chemistry and chemical engineering, told the Star-News. "While we have great labs for chemistry, we have never had a space specifically designed for synthetic chemists.''

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