Phase 1: Research and Investigation Results and Preliminary Conservation Proposal

Sara Lardinois
2017

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The Salk Institute for Biological Studies was founded in the 1960s by Dr. Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine. The institute's campus in La Jolla, California (1965), designed by Louis I. Kahn, is widely considered to be a masterpiece of modern architecture.

In 2013, the Getty Conservation Institute partnered with the Salk Institute to address the aging and long-term care of one of the site's major architectural element the teak window wall assemblies, which are set within the buildings' monolithic concrete walls.

The resulting project, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies Conservation Project, was divided into two phases: Phase 1: Research and Investigation and Phase 2: On-Site Trial Mock-Ups. The results of this work informed the detailed designs developed by the Salk's architectural consultant and the construction project for the window wall assemblies undertaken in 2016–2017.

This report presents the results of Phase 1 (2013–2014), which included historical research and assessment of significance; preliminary condition assessment, scientific research, and diagnosis of weathering and deterioration mechanisms; and development of conservation policies and preliminary treatment recommendations that were subsequently trialed during Phase 2.

Results of Phase 2 will be published in a forthcoming project report.