Louis Kahn's Salk Institute for Biological Studies sits high above the Pacific Ocean at La Jolla, Southern California. The project presented Kahn with the opportunity to design for a closed community, in this case scientists, involved in concentrated research. In formulating his response to both the programme and the site, Kahn drew inspiration from such traditional prototypes as monasteries and other forms of intellectual retreat. He distinguished between the large, free-plan spaces of the laboratories and the rooms for private study, expressing these cell-like spaces as wooden panelled apertures set into otherwise bare concrete walls. As a complex, it remained incomplete at Kahn's death, but it survives as an enduring reminder of his humanism and architectural genius.