Salk Institute


Blog Post # 4

In the laboratories the vertical ducts of the Richards Building have been turned on their sides, housed in the hollows of spanning box girders and vented from huge hoods at the flanks of the building.  The pre-cast units of structure have thus continued to become larger as the crane can lift them.

The institute manifests beauty of mind and act; of the resolution and articulation of the major elements of the building…being what it wants to and needs to be, to the precise detail and execution of beautiful concrete surfaces   Even the component of structure derives from the need to enclose specific spaces, specifically and pertinently, rather than offer a general envelope within which specific space might then be designated.

Two parallel laboratories, each an uninterrupted 65 foot wide and 245 feet long and encircled by a perimeter corridor, flank a central court.  The support elements to these totally flexible spaces are placed in a peripheral relationship to this corridor.  They are the studies and offices for scientist, fractured in profile and vertical in rhythm, which line this central court, connected by bridges to the perimeter corridor and receiving views of the ocean by virtue of exterior walls angles toward it.

The buildings each have six stories, with the first three floors containing laboratories and the last three with utilities. These spaces are connected to protruding towers that contain spaces for individual studies linked with bridges. The towers at the east end of the buildings contain heating, ventilating, and other support systems while at the west end the towers are six floors of offices that all face the Pacific ocean, providing a warm tranquil setting for concentration. The separation of the laboratories and the individual study spaces was intended by Kahn, establishing the different activities.

Blog Post # 3

This is my favorite architectural site in San Diego. Very modern with a lot of concrete. The setting is magnificent, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The fact that it is one of the world’s premier science labs adds to the aura. For any  designer or landscape architect, this is a great place ,to walk through. It is a stunning piece of architecture and fascinating structure and central plaza  simplicity of form and materials make this a classic architectural gem.

The Salk Institute is a private, non-profit, research organization dedicated to fundamental research in biology and its relation to health, studying…


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