A European-based developer with ties to California envisioned revitalizing this historic lodge’s century-old commitment to the natural experience of its surrounding Salinas Valley in Monterey, California. The responding masterplan details hospitality and recreational facilities that function as a comfortable outpost in the site’s 40-acres of undeveloped land on the border of the Ventana Wilderness of Los Padres National Forest. As an easily-accessible foothold in a site that has inspired recreational athletic and artistic pursuits, Project Miller will draw visitors into a series of relationships to the surrounding views and the Arroyo Seco River that flows through its center.
A stunning setting for camping, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, swimming, and white-water kayaking, the retreat also holds the promise of repose. The creation of a new lodge, general store, hospitality island, and retreat center will pay tribute to the site’s history of recreation while reviving the priceless outdoor resource. At the heart of the lodge, a farm-to-table restaurant built on the strong agricultural culture of the Salinas Valley will honor local tradition. Higher capacity spaces on the river’s shores will serve as concert and performance venues, and a small amphitheater will provide space for group presentations.
In addition to sites for overnight camping and forty-five lodge units, Miller Lodge will offer opportunities for day use in picnic areas, a pool and recreation center, and facilities for physical restoration and renewal. Community gardens will offer a shared space for locals, guests, and frequent visitors alike to engage with their natural surroundings, and State Rangers will provide fireside talks, guided hikes, and astronomy programs focused on the immediate environment.
Project Miller conceptualizes a contemporary take on a longstanding tradition of nature-oriented hospitality. With understated aesthetics and a material palette rooted in local tradition, it aims to celebrate the site’s natural protagonists: the river snaking through its center and the mountains blossoming out of the rust-colored earth in the distance.
LOCATION Monterey, California
Landscape Architect: Joni L. Janecki & Associates
Owner: Altai Co.