October 5, 2016

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) was designed by Louis I. Kahn and is widely considered to be a masterpiece of modern architecture.

Since 2013, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) has worked with the Salk Institute to address the aging and long-term care of one of the site's major architectural elements—the teak window walls, which are set within the buildings' monolithic concrete walls. After three years of historic research, condition assessment and analysis, on-site trials, and design development, construction activities to conserve the window walls are underway.

GCI staff members and a panel of experts discussed the site's significance and the conservation of the window walls. They presented the results of the research and investigative phase and how it guided the development of three different repair approaches for the window walls. They also discussed how the methodology developed for this project is being applied to other site elements. Also discussed was the larger conservation management plan developed for the site under the Getty Foundation's Keeping It Modern grant program.

Susan Macdonald, Head, Building & Sites, Getty Conservation Institute
Sara Lardinois, Project Specialist, Getty Conservation Institute
Timothy Ball, Senior Director of Facility Services, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Kyle Normandin, Associate Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., architectural and engineering consultants to the Salk Institute