The Terasaki Research Institute is an institution that is dedicated to increasing the success rate and minimizing rejections of organ transplants.  Dr. Paul I. Terasaki (1929 – 2016) entered into an affiliation agreement with UCLA and relocated his facility closer to his alma mater in the Westwood Village.  The design of the new building pays homage to the inspiration and legacy of Dr. Terasaki.

Among all the unique features in the new building, the two tensegrity skylights complete with mirrored oculi and programmable lights seem to serve as the centerpieces.  Each skylight is a complex system of suspension cables, stay cables, perimeter frame, center frame, waterproof top membrane, non-combustible bottom layer, plexiglass skylight dome, a series of RGB programmable lights and an oculus with a mirror finish.

The two layers of Teflon coated fiberglass fabric produce a light transmission of 5%.  During the day, this adds a nice warm light to the lounge areas where sofas are artistically arranged to help researchers decompress and relax in between focused inquiry sessions.  Alternately, at night, the portable partitions and furniture can be removed and the magnificent light displays can be used to transform the open space into an entertainment or fundraising venue.  With the light transmission of the bottom layer at 29%, the colorful light system can evenly disperse throughout the entire membrane giving the whole room a bold transformation.


Project Name: Terasaki Research Institute
Project Location: Los Angeles, CA
Year Completed: 2017
Membrane Type: PTFE coated fiberglass membranes using Fabrasorb IA below and Sheerfill V above
Total Project Size: 1,462 SF total Skylight area

Tension Structures -