Tour Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute in La Jolla, California


Tour louis kahn's salk institute in la jolla, california

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Louis Kahn‘s 1965 masterwork integrates architecture, landscape, and science

Much has been written about the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Louis Kahn’s 1965 architectural masterpiece overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, California. It is a world-renowned research center founded by Jonas Salk, who discovered and developed the first vaccine for polio in 1950s. His instructions to the architect were simple: It should be “worthy of a visit by Picasso.”

I have studied drawings and photographs of the institute and, back when I was a student, attended lectures by Kahn, but I was not prepared for the almost physical impact of the design. Standing in its iconic central plaza, with that line of water running down the center and seeming to disappear into the ocean beyond, you sense Kahn’s unique ability to integrate architecture, landscape, and purpose—in Salk’s case, science—into a seamless whole.

The intimacy of the place is astounding, which is somehow not at odds with its monumental presence. While photographing, I struck up a conversation with a few institute employees, one of whom opened his cell phone to show me pictures he had taken at sunset the night before. “Every day here is a different experience,” he said. “It never ceases to amaze me, and I’ve been here for 25 years.” […]

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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