The Neurosciences Institute
10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive
La Jolla, California
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien
A stones throw away from the Salk Institute lies a distinctly different, yet
no less serene, architectural expression of scientific endeavor. Walking into the
Neurosciences Institute, youll 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. Edelmans view, is
to construct the world. And the Institutes 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 its 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.
Christy Rogers 1998
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: