January 20, 2016

Sunnylands is the 200-acre estate of Walter and Leonore Annenberg in Rancho Mirage, California, designed by A. Quincy Jones in 1964. A striking example of Midcentury Modern architecture, this impressive residential compound includes a sizable modern landscape with a nine-hole golf course.

Now operated by the Annenberg Foundation as the Retreat at Sunnylands, its transformation from private residence to public facility is a masterful example of adaptive reuse that encompasses architecture, landscape design, interior decoration, and water conservation.

A panel of experts offered multiple perspectives on how these challenges are being met. Speakers included two of Sunnylands' directors, who defined and guided the project and two of the designers charged with carrying out the work.


Frederick Fisher, AIA, Partner, Frederick Fisher and Partners
Discussing designing the new visitor center and conserving the original A. Quincy Jones building

Janice Lyle, Director, Sunnylands Center and Gardens
Presenting aspirations for the new retreat center and discussing challenges in conserving the original structure and developing an adaptive strategy

Willett Moss, Partner, CMG Landscape Architecture
Discussing conserving the modern landscape design and how, in light of California's unprecedented drought, Sunnylands has responded to this water emergency

Patrick Truchan, Director of Operations, Sunnylands Center and Garden
Addressing the implementation of these varied projects and the way the golf course, a signature feature of the original property, has been modified in response to water limitations