A Challenge or a Gift? Conserving the Original Building Materials of Louis Kahn's Salk Institute for Biological Studies
April 25, 2017
Situated on a Southern California bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1965) is one of architect Louis Kahn's most recognized works. The prefabricated, teak window assemblies and concrete walls of the studies and offices flanking the Institute's plaza define this distinctive complex. After fifty years in an exposed marine environment, however, the building complex has shown signs of deterioration and weathering to a non-uniform appearance. Rather than continuing short-term repairs and treatments to address the condition of the complex, the Salk Institute decided to develop a conservation-based plan for repairs, to manage these issues on a long-term basis. In 2014, the institute hired Wiss, Janney, Elstner, Associates, Inc. (WSJ) to develop a conservation management plan as well as a preservation program for the teak window wall assemblies. Their work builds upon initial studies and research by the Getty Conservation Institute. Three years later, as the project is nearing completion, Kenneth Itle and Kyle Normandin, associate principals of WSJ, will examine the decision-making processes that led to the selection of appropriate intervention for various types of repair and conservation work. This project is an initiative of the Getty’s “Keeping It Modern” program.
This event is co-organized by the New York chapter of Society of Architectural Historians and the NYU Department of Art History, Urban Design and Architecture Studies.
Tuesday, April 25, 6:30 pm
NYU Department of Art History
Silver Center, Room 301
100 Washington Square East (entrance on Waverly Place)
Free and open to the public