Sunnylands Annenberg Estate

Rancho Mirage, CA

CMG joined The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands to assist in the transition of the private 200-acre compound in the Coachella Desert to a public historic house museum and VIP retreat center. Envisioned as a Camp David of the West Coast, the restored estate provides an environment to discuss domestic and international policy. President Obama has visited a number of times, sustaining a history of visiting presidents that dates back to President Eisenhower.

CMG’s work across the estate balances the Annenberg’s Trust ‘excellent repair’ mandate with the Foundation Trust’s sustainability measures to reduce water consumption by at least 50%. The planning and design challenges revolve around preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings and landscape, combined with an urgent need for aggressive reduction of water use that has been compounded by the California drought. The result is a cultural landscape whose design weaves modernism with historicism.

Best practices for treatment of historic resources and new landscape construction in a harsh desert environment are being developed, implemented and tested in an on-going basis at Sunnylands, and CMG is a proud partner in this work.