Salk Institute Phase II

  • Location
    La Jolla, CA
  • Team
    WRNS Studio
    Latitude 33
    Mars Structural
    Watt Lighting


Perched on the cliffs above La Jolla, the Salk Institute has long supported important biological research stemming from the legacy of its founder, Jonas Salk. This project marks the first substantial development at the institute in nearly two decades.

OJB was charged with integrating the expanded campus with Louis Kahn’s iconic modernist structure, celebrated for its powerful concrete forms and minimal landscape. A prominent east-west axis responds to the original runnel and maintains expansive views. Beyond, the landscape becomes more sinuous, with an immersive south garden with infrastructure to support outdoor work.

Expressive, rugged plantings create sensory delight; eucalyptus groves, coastal overlooks, and moments for respite bring serenity to the Institute’s innate sophistication. Terraces, walls, stairs, and ramps retain grade while remaining accessible and aesthetically pleasing.