Jordan J. Lloyd

April 4, 2021

🇺🇸 Salk Institute, 1983

Original safety film negative by Balthazar Korab, colorized by me. Published 1983, California, United States (Library of Congress)

Hungarian-American photographer Balthazar Korab spent much of his career photographing some of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century. This photograph is of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego by Louis Kahn, completed in 1965. Of the three proposed clusters in the original design, only the laboratory cluster seen here was built, framing a view of the Pacific Ocean. The pink tint of the concrete is a result of the presence of volcanic ash.


“A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.”
— Louis Kahn

The original photograph wasn't quite centred, so the colorized version featured a digitally reconstructed left edge to give the entire composition more symmetry, whilst slightly emphasising the drama between the sky and the courtyard.

Original caption reads, “Louis Isadore Kahn, Salk Institute, La Jolla, Ca., 1954-65. [Architectural photograph shows the exterior of the Salk Institute, La Jolla, San Diego, California which was designed by Louis Isadore Kahn.]”

This photograph has been cropped, restored and altered from the
original scan.

About Jordan J. Lloyd

British author, visual historian and Creative Director of Unseen Histories, bringing the past to life for The Times, LIFE and Unsplash.