During a recent trip to San Diego, we were lucky enough to take a quick detour to the Salk Institute, a research facility about an hour outside of downtown. It was built in 1965 and designed by Louis Kahn – one of the world’s greatest architects.
What is startling about this building is how perfectly scaled it is. Elements are impressive without being overwhelming. It is effortless to occupy. You are surrounded by these angled concrete structures, which could feel oppressive and heavy – but instead, they feel warm and welcoming.
Kahn was a master of light – and there might not be a more beautiful building in the world at sunset. The center court is bifurcated by a small water feature – which reflects the sun – and spreads a pink glow to the surrounding buildings.
Here at KDA, we are inspired by the purity of the materials. It can be easy in New York City to try and impress with bigness and grandeur, but buildings like this remind of how simplicity and proper proportion can create iconic spaces. If you are ever in San Diego, it is worth a trip!
Check out some of our pictures below: