The Philadelphia School, deterritorialized

Zodiac 17   September 1967

  1   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l   m   n   o   p   q   r   s   t   u   v   w   x   y   z   2

The Salk Center is an example of what can occur when great clients and architects come together. Dr. Jonas Salk had made an exhaustive survey of laboratory buildings before he saw the Richards Laboratories, understood their meaning, and chose Kahn to design his Center. As a place for philosophical contemplation as well as for basic research, the laboratories at the Salk Institute are joined by individuai studies, from which each of the resident fellows will have a view of the Pacific. In the laboratory proper the somewhat pinched quality of the Richards solution totally disappears, as huge Vierendeel trusses, the mature descendants of those in the A.F.L.-C.I.O. building, span vast, uninterrupted spaces and house the Service equipment within themselves. A long gallery visually separates the laboratory volume from the stairs to the studies and the bridges to the open loggias where outdoor seminars will presumably be held.

In their forms the stairs passionately abandon the laboratories and rush up to the secluded studies, which are perched out in space like houses in a tree. Teak wall panels are set in their concrete frames like wooden shields. The studies respire with the will to be alone, and their walls push violently out into the garden and toward the sea.

Concrete poured in wooden forms coated with plastic, hence concrete clear, smooth, and richly jointed, soft lead forced into the bolt-holes from its forms; teak in board widths to allow for the expansion and contraction of its panels within the concrete planes and under the salt wind from the sea: Pentelic marble could do no more to make us weep for the splendour of the earth’s resources and the resolute terror of mortal man.



Quondam © 2020.08.11