Athenaeum Library Book Arts Lecture

Special Lectures

The Salk Institute and Multiplicity in Architecture

Presented by Jeffry Kieffer


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

All lectures begin at 7:30 PM



This lecture on the Salk Institute is an exploration of the composition of the Salk Institute master plan which includes the built Laboratory building, the unbuilt Meeting House and the unbuilt Visiting Fellows Residences. The lecturer is interested in the “cross-over” spatial and formal relationships between these three components of the complex. The archival drawings for the development of the Institute will be presented which will yield for the audience a totally new understanding of the complex and other Louis Kahn works as well. Buildings done just prior to and ongoing with the Salk commission will be explored in order to shed light on aspects of the built Laboratory building. Aspects of Kahn’s personal history will be introduced which will also illuminate his architecture. The lecture does not stress the technical/functional aspects of the Institute construction but rather the relationship between formal configuration and meaning which is Kahn’s poetics of construction. The implications of what Jonas Salk and Louis Kahn achieved at La Jolla are vast. The lecturer hopes to demonstrate that the Salk Institute is indeed one of the great buildings in the history of Western civilization.



About Jeffry Kieffer:

Jeffry Kieffer is a licensed architect born and raised in the City of New York and educated in the public school system there. He is now “retired” after a thirty-five-year career as a public architect in New York City having worked for the NYC Transit Authority, the office of Richard Dattner- Architect (designer of the playgrounds in Central Park), the NYC Department of General Services and the NYC Department of Design and Construction. His Bachelor of Architecture degree (1975) was obtained at Cooper Union and he has a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Rice University (1977). In 1986 Mr. Kieffer received a Special Commendation from the Architectural League of New York for his early independent research on the architecture of Louis Kahn. He published an essay on the Salk Institute in Architecture and Urbanism magazine (1993) and a short article on the re-opening of Kahn’s Yale University Art Gallery in Blueprint magazine (2007). He has lectured on Kahn at the University of the Andes, Bogota (1979), the New Jersey Institute of Technology (1990), the Parrish Art Museum (1990), Cooper Union (2004) and at the DDC Talks lecture series (2009). Research for Mr. Kieffer’s new book on the Salk Institute began in 2009 at the Architectural Archive at the University of Pennsylvania. Since “retiring” Mr. Kieffer likes to spend the month of February in California splitting his time between San Diego, Santa Monica and San Francisco. He is single and has lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for many years from where he takes advantage of all the cultural offerings of the city. His favorite place is Central Park.



Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037



This is a FREE event.




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