Iconic Architecture: Sunnylands Center & Gardens

DPP Real Estate August 16, 2023


Iconic Architecture: Sunnylands Center & Gardens

Nestled in the heart of Rancho Mirage lies a hidden gem that seamlessly marries architecture, art, and natural beauty - the Sunnylands Center & Gardens. This iconic destination, known for its stunning architecture and lush gardens, has captivated visitors with its timeless elegance and unique blend of design and tranquility. 

Photo by Ken Hayden

The Sunnylands estate was originally built in 1966 as the winter residence of Walter and Leonore Annenberg. The 25,000-square-foot Mid-Century Modern house and 200 acres were designed by renowned architect A. Quincy Jones, with clean lines and seamless integration with nature, the estate exudes an air of understated sophistication.

Photo by Millicent Harvey

At the heart of the Sunnylands complex stands the Sunnylands Center, the 17,000-square-foot building, on a 15-acre parcel adjacent to the historic estate, was designed by Frederick Fisher & Partners and was completed in 2011. Fisher referenced the A. Quincy Jones-designed historic house in his use of lava stone walls, trellises, and floor-to-ceiling glass allowing natural light to flood the interior, creating a sense of openness and connection with the surrounding gardens.

Beyond the architectural marvels lies a meticulously crafted garden that enchants visitors with its serenity and natural beauty. Designed by landscape architect James Burnett, the gardens are a symphony of color, texture, and fragrance. Native plants and drought-resistant flora thrive in the arid desert climate, creating a sustainable oasis that showcases the harmony between architecture and nature.

Photo by Sibylle Allagaier

Sunnylands has welcomed numerous world leaders, celebrities, and thinkers over the years, serving as a backdrop for important discussions and collaborations. From U.S. Presidents to international dignitaries, the estate's architecture and ambiance have set the stage for critical conversations that shape our world. Its role in fostering diplomacy and understanding has solidified its place not only as an architectural gem but as a symbol of global influence.

The Sunnylands Center & Gardens' iconic architecture harmonizes with the desert landscape, providing visitors with a sensory experience that stimulates the mind and soothes the soul. 

Photography © The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands

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