Wednesday, April 6, 2011

modern architecture in San Diego

Driving into work this morning, due East, blinded by the sunrise piercing the open sky between imposing hospital buildings, my dad described the opposite effect that occurs every evening at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, when, facing due West, one basks in the glow of a perfect Pacific sunset through the modern buildings that disguise a world class reserach facility that five Nobel Prize winning scientists have once called home.

Being unfamiliar with the architecture of the Salk Institute, I, naturally, called upon my good friend, Google, to enlighten me: 
Jonas Salk had a distinctive vision for the creation of the Institute. In the early 1960s, he directed the world-renowned architect Louis Kahn to provide spacious, unobstructed laboratory spaces that could be adapted to the ever-changing needs of science. The building materials had to be simple, strong, durable, and as maintenance-free as possible. Salk summarized his aesthetic objectives by telling the architect to "create a facility worthy of a visit by Picasso." Kahn, who was a devoted artist before he became an architect, responded to this challenge. (via)
When it comes to architecture, I am not always a fan of the more modern (I realize that "modern" is a very, very broad term that encompasses quite a range of styles over the past century, but I'm not really qualified enough to launch into a discussion of particulars here), but I like the way that the light plays with the buildings, lending some character to the seemingly monolithic. 

Another really interesting structure nearby is the UCSD Geisel library-- and if it seems like something out of a Dr. Suess book, well, it was financed by Theodore Suess Geisel (aka Dr. Suess) and his wife. 

Photo Credit: Matt Soave via

So, it appears that my lusting for San Diego continues.  In addition to sun, friends, Pandas, and missions, there are also some funky buildings to check out.  I guess the views over the Pacific are a draw, too?

Photo Credit: AMagill via

Yup, they totally are.

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