Dreams do come true in La Jolla

My husband and I spent the past few days in sunny San Diego.  Sans kids.  A small miracle, if you ask me.  (BIG thanks to grandmas and grandpas who were willing to care for our kiddos while we spent some time out of town.)

The main purpose for the trip was the yearly National Art Education Association convention (held this year in San Diego) that my husband attended.  With him in conferences all day, that gave me some much-needed solo free time.  Believe me, as a mom, I rarely enjoy solo time, wherein I have the freedom to do whatever I please, so this opportunity that came with the trip was most certainly welcomed and appreciated.

On a particularly fine morning, I ventured from San Diego to La Jolla, a gorgeous area of southern California to which I would gladly return.  My mission in La Jolla: visit the world-renowned Salk Institute, designed by famous architect Louis Kahn.  The Salk Institute has been on my bucket list of “buildings to visit before I die” ever since I learned about this iconic building in architecture school.  I signed up for the guided architectural tour (I highly recommend it), and I was so happy I did.  I learned so much about the Salk Institute’s architecture that I never would have, and I gained a wonderful understanding and an even greater appreciation for the building.  With all of the anticipation that I carried with me before actually experiencing the building, let me tell you, that this place did not disappoint.

For some experiences, there are no words.  The fewer words I use to describe my experience at the Salk Institute, the better.  So I leave you with some photographs.  Enjoy!

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Why I Love Shigeru Ban

A few days ago, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban won the Pritzker Prize, a prestigious award given yearly to an accomplished architect with a large portfolio of significant projects.  Being an architect myself, I’m always interested to hear who wins the yearly Pritzker Prize.  When I heard that Shigeru Ban won this year, I was rather excited.  I’ve always admired Ban’s work, especially his humanitarian efforts and his usage of discarded materials (paper tubes, etc.) in his designs.

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I have a soft spot in my heart for Ban, though, because years ago, when I was a lowly student in the architecture program at the University of Utah, I had the privilege of hearing him speak at the AIA Convention taking place in Salt Lake City that year.  My classmates and I, crammed into the standing-room-only convention space in the downtown Hilton Hotel, hung onto every word that Ban spoke.  Here was a master in our midst, providing us a rare opportunity to listen to humble architectural/humanitarian opinion.  I was already a huge fan of Ban’s work, but I have to say, I was most impressed with Ban’s down-to-earth nature and his complete lack of ego (which is usually the trademark of most high-profile architects).  Ban inspired me with his work and his ways.

Congratulations to Shigeru Ban, for earning a well-deserved Pritzker Prize.