San Diego Sights

Salk Institute

  • 10010 N. Torrey Pines Rd. Map It
  • La Jolla
  • Educational Institution

Published 05/18/2016

Fodor's 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 will enjoy the tours of the property; register online in advance. You can, however, stroll at will through the dramatic courtyard—simultaneously monumental and eerie.

Sight Information


10010 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, California, 92037, United States

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Sight Details:

  • Free; $15 requested donation for tours
  • Grounds open weekdays 8:30–5; architectural tours weekdays at 11:45 (reservations required, see website for details)

Published 05/18/2016


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