The Salk Institute, which sits at the top of the mesa in La Jolla overlooking the Pacific Ocean, has been described as a temple to nature and a monument to scientific thought. Louis Kahn’s masterpiece consists of mirror-image study towers for senior scientists that flank a travertine plaza. Adjacent to the study towers are laboratory buildings. Towers at the east end provide heating, ventilation and other support systems. Towers at the west end provide offices overlooking the Pacific.
The Salk, which has aged well and gracefully over more than 50 years, recently completed a restoration project of the teak wood covering the window systems and other exterior openings. The effort began in 2016 after three years of study and research by the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI). A GCI conservation management plan ensures the Salk Institute will continue to enjoy many more years of housing breakthroughs in science.
“When we talk about preserving a place, it’s not just the physical environment we’re preserving, we’re preserving the idea of a place and the possibilities that will come out of the place.” – Nathaniel Kahn.