Assistant Director of Planning and Architecture

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Pasadena, CALIFORNIA


Posted: 14-Mar-24

Location: Pasadena, California

Salary: Open



Internal Number: 5104204

Assistant Director of Planning and Architecture
Job Category: Fulltime Regular
Exempt Overtime Eligible: Exempt
Benefits Eligible: Benefit Based
Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.
Job Summary
The Assistant Director of Planning and Architecture at the Planning, Design & Construction (PD&C) department of Caltech plays a pivotal role in planning and shaping projects across campus, mainly educational and laboratory spaces. The PD&C Assistant Director of Planning and Architecture is a member of the PEA team and reports to the Director of Planning, Engineering and Architecture (PEA) within PD&C. This position is instrumental in campus and laboratory planning efforts to provide test fits and various options for each effort. This position requires a combination of planning, architectural and interior design expertise to create functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing research and learning environments that support teaching, research, and innovation.
This position is classified with an emergency response designation of Essential Reporting. An employee designated as Essential Reporting has essential job skills that are needed for response and recovery, and is expected to report to campus as soon as possible.
Essential Job Duties
This position's primary responsibility is to provide planning and design services to support both minor and major renovation and new construction projects. In this capacity, this position will work with other assigned PD&C team members, as well as meet with various Division/Department representatives, to gather and review project-specific requirements, and develop projects in various phases from planning, concept, to final designs and construction. Other responsibilities include updating the Caltech design guidelines and standards and assisting in defining design standards as required namely relating to laboratories, offices, classrooms, and shared spaces.
  • Supervise the Junior Architect/Interior Designer, with responsibilities including performance management and career development.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to understand the specific requirements and objectives of each project
  • Conduct site assessments and gather data on existing facilities to inform the design process.
  • Assist in the planning of projects on campus, including gathering information, preparing presentations, communicating with project team and stakeholders.
  • Manage campus-wide planning efforts for specific departments or units as units are displaced, swing spaces are required, and new space needs arise.
  • Plan laboratory spaces, including identifying requirements and planning optimal space solutions for renovations of existing facilities for new laboratories and required swing space.
  • Develop laboratory layouts, taking into consideration factors such as equipment placement, workspace ergonomics, safety regulations, and accessibility.
  • Review design packages by other design firms and provide detailed and specific comments. Identify project optimization opportunities.
  • Select and specify appropriate materials, finishes, furniture, and fixtures that align with the functional, aesthetic and budgetary goals of projects. Create design concepts and presentations to communicate the proposed interior design vision.
  • Conduct feasibility studies in close collaboration with the PEA team, prepare clear and well thought out documentation and presentations.
  • Manage design for assigned projects from project inception through completion. Provide coordination of design packages from all disciplines needed to complete the work. Work closely with the PDC PEA team and project managers to ensure that designs stay within budget constraints and provide detailed design documentation - including drawings, specifications, and schedules.
  • Responsible for facilitating the entire design process for projects assigned. This includes collaboration with other designers/engineers (electrical, mechanical, structural, etc.) and team members to investigate existing conditions, evaluate options, troubleshoot issues and recommend design solutions in the best interest of Caltech and the specific 'client' for the design.
  • Implement new tools such as GIS software.
  • Be the primary author of the Owners Project Requirements document for all projects assigned for all architectural scope.
  • Be the primary reference on accessibility requirements and guidelines and assist in the determination of compliance requirements for all spaces on campus.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary teams to address complex design challenges. Incorporate innovative design solutions that enhance the functionality and adaptability of spaces.
  • Ensure designs comply with relevant building codes, safety standards, and regulations. Coordinate with the Caltech Environmental Health & Safety office on science safety needs.
  • Integrate sustainable design principles and eco-friendly materials to promote environmental responsibility.
  • Monitor construction progress to ensure that the design intent is maintained, and quality standards are met.
  • Stay up to date with emerging trends, technologies, and best practices in laboratory design.
  • Update Design Guidelines in all areas related to architecture, interior design, and collaborate with various groups on campus to ensure alignment of requirements.

Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in Architecture, Interior Design, or a related field.
  • A minimum of 7 years of experience in architectural and interior design, with a focus on laboratory planning and design, and higher education facilities.
  • Strong familiarity with furniture systems selection and specification.
  • Excellent graphic representation and communication skills.
  • Strong knowledge of building codes, accessibility requirements, safety regulations, and sustainability principles.
  • Proficiency in design software such as AutoCAD, Revit, and Adobe Creative Suite, and rendering software.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills for client interactions and team collaboration.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Professional licensure or certification in architecture or interior design is preferred but not required.
  • Experience with GIS mapping.
  • Project management experience and budgeting skills are a plus.

Required Documents
  • Resume, Portfolio

Optional Documents
  • GIS work samples

To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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About California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution, where extraordinary faculty and students seek answers to complex questions, discover new knowledge, lead innovation, and transform our future.
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