Sunnylands Center & Gardens
R&P’s installations at the Sunnylands Center and Gardens are carefully crafted to complement this modern architectural masterpiece. The bespoke, sophisticated designs are a modern take on the Annenberg’s famous midcentury modern estate.
- The Annenberg Foundation
- Sunnylands Center & Gardens
- 15,000 sq. ft.
- Exhibit Design, Graphic Design, Interpretive Signage Design
- Rancho Mirage, CA, USA
- Year Completed
The Sunnylands Estate, once reserved for private use as a retreat for the Annenberg family opened its doors to the public as a must-see historic site. R&P was commissioned to design the exhibits, media and wayfinding at the new Visitor Center, built to accommodate the expected crowds. The new elements needed to be not just exemplars of modern design, but also needed to complement the building architecture, integrate the Sunnylands’ brand identity, meet the latest accessibility standards and be constructed to withstand the unforgiving desert elements.
R&P delivered a bold, modern design for the center’s new interpretive signs and wayfinding system, inspired by the building architecture and the mid-century modern design aesthetic. R&P designed the interior exhibits, graphics, branding, identity and all of the exterior site and landscape signage. The new panels featured geometric patterns, clean lines and sharp accents, while expressing the Sunnylands brand and philosophy. The signs accent the elements in the built environment and colors reference the native plants found in the desert garden. Along with aspects of the refreshed Sunnylands logo, they created a consistent visual language throughout, establishing a closer connection to the Estate and its desert environment.
The Center is an example of sustainable design and its application to contemporary design in a desert environment. The LEED gold building incorporates many “green” technologies and sustainable materials in its construction and finishes, including the specially-designed plyboo interactive media stations by R&P. For the construction of the other R&P signs, durable powder-coated steel was used to stand up to the desert conditions, including sandstorms and harsh sunlight.
To complete the visitor experience, a state-of-the-art, glasses-free, 3D video tour of the Sunnylands residence and its development over time is included. This is the first use of this new technology in an exhibit.
The Annenberg Estate and the Sunnylands Centre and Gardens is an American treasure. The commitment to the highest caliber of design by this internationally respected project team made it an incredibly special and challenging project of which we are incredibly proud.
The R&P design team worked closely with the building architects, Frederick Fisher & Partners and other internationally-renowned designers to provide exhibit and signage design seamlessly integrated with the building architecture, interior furnishings, and the landscape design. There was extensive interaction with the client’s Board of Trustees, their advisors, and the architectural/engineering team to tune the design to the most exacting standards. The exhibit design team, media producers, and fabricators were also able to establish a collaborative process that was both timely and effective, sustained throughout the project.
- Sunnylands [serves] as a place for leaders and decision makers to gather, share ideas, and create common solutions that help move us all toward a brighter tomorrow.Barack Obama
President of the United States of America