Located in a vivid, twenty-seven-acre coastal site in the Torrey Pines mesa contemplating shades of blues of the Pacific Ocean a poem of Architecture and Science raises itssoul to the world: The Salk Institute.
It all was conceived in a brilliant mind; Dr. Jonas Salk’s, the paralytic polio vaccine developer: He envisioned a modern conception of a perfectly designedmonastery dedicated to Science which could gather together a new community of scientists and scholars engaged in research to prevent human disease with very important conditions to meet:
• A design that“Was worthy of Picasso”
• An adaptable structure to the ever-changing needs of science.
• The use of simple and strong building materials to withstand the tests of time, without costly attention ormaintenance.
• An environment for the laboratories which could meet the researcher’s functional humanistic and aesthetic needs.
With financial support from the National Foundation for InfantileParalysis Dr. Salk started his quest to find the perfect designer to develop his idea. He contacted Architect Louis Kahn on recommendation of a friend who had heard Kahn had recently given a lectureentitled: “Order for Science and Art” at the Carnegie Institute of technology merely to ask how to choose an Architect. At this point all what Mr. Salk new was that he wanted to locate this building in SanDiego.
Mr. Kahn led Salk through the construction site of the Richards Medical Research Building in Philadelphia which he had just completed but Mr. Salk was more impressed by the architect’sconversation: soon enough they got on so well that Salk felt he need look no further: Louis Kahn was the right person to offer this commission.
On his part Kahn found in Jonas Salk “the most impressiveintellectual he ever had as a client”. They both shared similarities: vision and ambition.
Jonas Salk founded the Salk institute for Biological Studies in 1960. The outcome: an exceptional...