Annenberg Center at Sunnylands

Rancho Mirage, CA


The Annenberg Foundation Trust


300 Acres



MSA provided pre-design surveying, utility research/coordination, entitlement, preliminary and final civil design engineering, storm water pollution and dust mitigation plans and construction staking services for the education center with a solar energy field situated on 15 acres adjacent to the Sunnylands estate (former estate of philanthropist Walter Annenberg). The project included the renovation of both the Sunnylands estate and the existing golf course. The new Annenberg Center, with its interpretive exhibitions and its educational programs, offers visitors an understanding of the history of Sunnylands including its place in the midcentury modern architecture story of the desert.

The Annenberg Center provides a range of public programs and educational exhibits. Outdoor activities include exploring the unique nine-acre desert landscape garden that uses desert plants to paint a living canvas while consuming no more than 20% of the permissible water under Coachella Valley Water District regulations. Interpretive materials also explain the ways in which solar panels and geo-thermal systems supply energy for this sustainable project. Through solar and geothermal energy, water conservation, recycling and composting programs, and innovative design, Sunnylands Center & Gardens is at the forefront of modern environmental stewardship. In 2011, Sunnylands Center & Gardens received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating, the second-highest certification for green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions. In October of 2012, Sunnylands Center & Gardens received an ASLA Honor Award and it was featured as Landscape Architecture Magazine’s cover story.

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