Cloud Pavilion

This project reimagines JPL’s campus, creating a flexible and engaging space for visitors and staff members alike.


NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Pasadena, CA


3,000 sq ft


2018 (Concept Design)

Tasked with reimagining the central gathering space of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) campus in Pasadena, California, we developed the Cloud Pavilion and corresponding master plan. Our pavilion supports new ways of working, gathering and welcoming visitors, and JPL saw the project as an opportunity to both support and embody the innovation occurring across the campus. The pavilion is an iconic landmark, serving not only as a recognizable meeting point for the employees, but also, with its prominent location near the visitor center and entry to the campus, projecting JPL’s values and mission to the larger public.

Our scope included a 3,000 sq ft main pavilion (the Cloud Pavilion) as well as a series of modular structures dispersed across the campus with various amenities, such as the shuttle bus service, cafe and other meeting areas. This tactical master plan allows for new structures to be added incrementally as funds and planned facilities work allow.

The unique form is a tessellation of folded metal mesh tubes resting on steel columns. The layers of mesh create a soft shade pattern below, offering shelter from the sun while still allowing inhabitants to feel a connection to the natural surroundings.

Natural elements are also brought into the pavilion’s interior through the landscaping, a wood deck that cascades down to a lawn, the hanging gardens, and a small water feature, whose sound will provide some acoustic white noise for conversations happening nearby.

The voluminous, lightweight, cellular canopies provide cool, shaded areas to support a range of campus activities, while reflecting the atmospheric qualities that are the subject of some of JPL’s work. The Cloud Pavilion creates a central space that serves as outdoor workspace—hosting informal meetings and coffee breaks during the day. When there are events, such as poster sessions or award ceremonies, the pavilion provides a shaded gathering place for the campus of 6,000 people.