San Diego Sights



Salk Institute Review

The world-famous biological-research facility founded by polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk sits on 27 clifftop acres. The twin structures that modernist architect Louis I. Kahn designed in the 1960s in consultation with Dr. Salk used poured concrete and other low-maintenance materials to clever effect. The thrust of the laboratory–office complex is outward toward the Pacific Ocean, an orientation accentuated by a foot-wide "Stream of Life" that flows through the center of a travertine marble courtyard between the buildings. Architects-to-be and building buffs enjoy the free tours of the property; register online two days in advance. You can, however, stroll at will through the dramatic courtyard—simultaneously monumental and eerie.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 10010 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037 | Map It
  • Phone: 858/453–4100 Ext. 1287
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Grounds open Mon.–Fri. 8:30–5; architectural tours Mon.–Fri. at noon (reservations required 2 business days in advance; see website for details).
  • Website:
  • Location: La Jolla
Updated: 10-24-2012

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