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 E  S  S  A  Y  2

      This facility was archaic in the treatment of materials both with the interior and exterior13  yet, the elements which would be with subject matter, iconography, function, and content symbolized the important and simplistic purpose of a facility involved in the creation of complex medical advancements.  The collaboration between Kahn and Salk on the design for these labs and residences was a connection of the best of both worlds, artistically and scientifically. Salk had visited the Saint Frances Assisi Monastery, image # 10, and desired to replicate a ³sense of cloister²14 for his fellow scientists in their intellectual pursuit. Salk felt that Kahn¹s expertise with Roman Engineering techniques and his knowledge of Scottish castles would foster Salk¹s vision of the elements necessary with creation of the institute.  As the site is divided into areas of importance so are each of the interior spaces.  The most important two buildings on the site are the labs and the residences.  The labs spans sixty-five feet by 245 feet with eleven foot ceilings and they are aided with movable walls so any necessary elimination or addition of equipment during scientific investigation would be possible with little effort.  The end walls hold the refrigerators and centrifuges in order to make room for the scientists and their investigations.  In the ceiling, there are nine foot high rooms which Kahn referenced as ³pipe laboratories² are ³sandwich between the people laboratories,²15 as seen in image # 5. There are the ducts, pipes, and electrical items which can be moved and reinstalled anywhere without affecting the labs below as need arises,16  The stairtowers even have blackboards to encourage discussions in the stairwells. The labs and the residences are what Kahn referenced as the Œserved¹17 of a building.  The servant aspect of the building was the service areas such as the water systems, gas-fired boilers, the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems.  Kahn felt that if he didn¹t specifically design for such mechanical service elements then they would take over the design of a building.  If consideration for the whole was important to Kahn then the subareas of the interiors should have just as much thought placed into their design.  These areas required a sense of tranquility ²where the routine of the laboratory could be momentarily left behind.²18   As Salk and Kahn worked together on the final plans, Kahn was able to show Salk how the shadows and the lighted areas in architecture were valuable to the design of the architecture because enough light would offer comfort to the scientist.  The image # 3 drawn by Kahn depicts his opinion of the concept of silence and light. Kahn had a fascination to ³lights metaphysical effect on architecture.²19 Natural light was incorporated into the interiors of the residences, as Salk insisted, must have a view on to the Pacific ocean.  The interiors were comfortable, even inspiring with the chalkboards in the residences for those late night solutions as seen in image #  9.  As the exterior serves the interior so must the foundation serve the building itself. The buildings needed to be under close observation for California¹s strict seismic regulations. Kahn¹s structural engineer explained in a 400 hundred page report reflecting computations of the success with a vierendeel truss system as it would offer the necessary flexibility in the resistance to lateral seismic forces.  ³The vertical ends of the nine foot deep trusses spaced twenty foot on center have a clear span of sixty-five foot.²20  ³The stressed steel bars, at the top of each truss were coated with asphalt paint and inserted in metal conduit to prevent bonding with the concrete.²21  The engineers proved that this system could with stand the same in a earthquake as a steel structure.  Kahn used the basic design elements and ancient architectural arrangements and produced a medical facility which would offer inspiration as well defy the natural weather elements.

  Kahn function was to make the ³immeasurable measurable.²22 Salk, who had developed the vaccine for Polio, had envisioned a community of future scientists with their inquinchable search for the solution to medical maladies. Salk sought out various architects and decided the moment that he discussed his visions for this scientific facility that Kahn should design this institution.  Kahn took great care and attention to the details, and the content in order that Salk could, as he so desired, to ³invite Picasso to the laboratory.²23  Kahn ³felt that the belief which makes a painter paint must be constantly felt by a scientist so that he never forgets, in his measurable work, that the unmeasurable desires, somehow, to come together.²24  This coastal location is yet another metaphor of the subject matter for the continual thought process of the scientist; as the mind is always in search for a solution so may there be some form of inspiration with the ever-changing ocean and sky.  This type of emphasis on discovery for the Œappropriate generating idea¹25 poetically references that the basic materials found in nature can provide awe-inspiring solutions when manipulated artistically.  Kahn¹s answer to the needs of Dr. Salk¹s institution can be thought of as a lesson to help us inquire and meet not with opposition to the struggle with the unanswerable questions but begin with the the initial inspiration of the problems.  Kahn¹s intuitive and never-ending fascination explains why he believed ³wonder is in the realization.²26  Kahn concerned himself with the natural light, functionalism, and spatial harmony in this architectural design.  The desires of both the architect and the scientist were to bring a solution out of the dark and into the light.  The dark is where the mental work was developed and the light is where the physical work continues.  Through the ³silence and light²27 at the Salk Institute, Kahn¹s determination to express his inner light of inspiration towards the solution shines brightly even after his death.

³What was has always been what is has always been and what will has always been.²28

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