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Every time Riviera asks an architect to name a favorite building in San Diego, we always know the answer: The Salk Institute, designed by the iconic British architect Louis S. Kahn and set on 27 stunning La Jolla acres.


The Salk Institute

“The Salk Institute is considered to be one of the world’s great architectural treasures. Experiencing it, it’s easy to understand why,” says S.D. architectural shooter Darren Bradley. “It reveals something new every time I visit. Walking into that courtyard feels like the first time. It’s breathtaking. The entire personality of the building—its mood, the feeling
it conveys—is constantly changing.”

In December 1959, Dr. Jonas Salk and Kahn began a unique partnership to “create a facility worthy of a visit by Picasso,” said Kahn, a devoted artist before he became an architect. The first lab opened in 1963, and today The Salk provides research for a range of diseases—from cancer and AIDS to Alzheimer’s and birth defects.

“Every San Diegan should experience this building. No photo could ever duplicate the experience—although it’s fun to try.”