Salk Institute

Architecture in La Jolla

In 1960 Jonas Salk, the polio-prevention pioneer, founded the Salk Institute for biological and biomedical research. San Diego County donated 27 acres of land, the March of Dimes provided financial support and renowned architect Louis Kahn designed the building, completed in 1965. It is regarded as a modern masterpiece, with its classically proportioned travertine-marble plaza and cubist, mirror-glass laboratory blocks framing a perfect view of the Pacific, and the fountain in the courtyard symbolizing the River of Life.

The Salk Institute attracts the best scientists to work in a research-only environment. The original buildings were expanded with new laboratories designed by Jack McAllister, a follower of Kahn’s work.