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The Neurosciences Institute
10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive
La Jolla, California

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien 1995

A stone’s throw away from the Salk Institute lies a distinctly different, yet no less serene, architectural expression of scientific endeavor. Walking into the Neurosciences Institute, you’ll feel as if you have walked into a nautilus shell. Unfortunately, the spiral can be initially disorienting; but once you have oriented yourself, this zen garden dug into a southern California hill is a wonderful place to be.

Gerald Edelman founded the Neurosciences Institute; his ideas about the brain developing in relation to the circumstances with which it is confronted ("Neural Darwinism") are complemented with the material and meditative approach of the architects. Herbert Muschamp wrote in the New York Times:

To see the world, in Dr. Edelman’s view, is to construct the world. And the Institute’s architecture...introduces us to a world in which perception, intuition and mood are as real as concrete, stone, and glass....In the unfolding of its imagery and spaces, in it’s ethereal use of materials, the building invites us to appreciate the simultaneous separateness and connectedness of things--minds and bodies, objects and ideas, people and their environments. (in Philip Jodidio, Contemporary American Architects vol. 3 (Koln: Taschen, 1997)).

Billie Tsien said: "Our whole thought about making places is that people can enter them without destroying the clarity of space" (Jodidio, p. 24). A simple statement, but a very different architectural approach from many other practioners.

 

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Christy Rogers 1998

Updated 2007


How to visit

The Neurosciences Institute is located one mile from the Salk Institute, adjacent to the Scripps Research Institute and Clinic. It is a three-building complex with labs, offices, a library, reading room, refectory, and auditorium, which support resident and visiting research fellows in Theoretical Neurobiology and Experimental Neurobiology.

The Institute has exactly two parking places for visitors, so call ahead to make arrangements:

Telephone  +1 858 626 2000
Fax  +1 858 626 2099
e-mail: info@nsi.edu


Books and other web sites

www.nsi.edu is the official web site of the Institute.

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