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Some Days Are Like This

The plan last Friday was to give a tour at the Salk to a group of architects and designers in the morning, work a bit, then attend a talk up the street at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) given by Billie Tsien. who along with her husband Tod Williams, designed a "perfect cloister" for scientific thought.

At the last minute before leaving home for the Salk,  I packed the napkin sketch that I had bid on and won at the NewSchool of Architecture fundraiser last year. It was an unusual one as sketches go, more like origami than a pen and ink sketch but it had been created by Billie Tsien.  I thought if I had a moment with her at TSRI, that we could take a photo together.

Since it was a group of 30 or so architects who would be touring, there were three docents, one of whom was my architect friend Lily. Lily was the one who invited me to the napkin sketch auction and also my travel partner last September when we visited Philadelphia to tour the Esherick House and the Fisher House, two residences designed by Louis Kahn.

Lily and I were chatting with one of the NewSchool professors before our tour guests, students who had attended the Neuroscience for Architecture, Urbanism and Design Summer Intersession Program, arrived. We were very much surprised when Tod Williams and Billie Tsien showed up - they planned to tour along with the students!

Since we were waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, I mentioned to Billie that I had the napkin sketch in my car. There was time to get the napkin, take some photos and chat with Tod and Billie about TSRI, Lily and my trip to Philadelphia last year including the surreal visit in the rain to the Barnes Foundation (a TWBT Architects project), and also my architect, Aaron.

When guests at Salk ask where else they should visit for architecture nearby, I mention TSRI and the architecture at UCSD, in particular the Giesel Library.

The images of TSRI below were taken on some of my visits in 2016 and 2017.

These last images of TSRI below are from Friday, where I got tag along on a tour given by Tod and Billie, then later hear them have a conversation about the TSRI project, their first major commission so many years ago and also their current project in Chicago - the Barack Obama Presidential Center. 

Truly a special day!