Palm Springs Convention Center

Palm Springs, California, USA

Fentress Architects was selected unanimously by the Palm Springs City Council from a pool of preeminent convention center architects, to design the Palm Springs Convention Center Expansion.

The City of Palm Springs wanted a new image for the convention center, one that would convey a sense of place and civic pride. Their desires were perfectly aligned with Fentress Architects’ design philosophy: contextual regionalism.

The orientation of the original 1985 convention center belied the natural order of the site and its connection to the city. We reversed this flow, repurposing the existing structure in a new building with the entrance placed city-side, reconnecting the facility with its community.

The earthy architecture of the new center is reminiscent of a modern Stonehenge. The design team drew upon the local desert environment and San Jacinto Mountain Range for inspiration. The building’s strong roofline mimics the dramatic inclines while sandstone pylons lining the west facade are inspired by the mountain’s eroded edges.

A deep roof canopy, which shields the building’s entry from the sun, takes cues from rock formations found at the nearby Palm Canyon. Artistic desert landscaping borders the center’s outside meeting space.

Award-Winning Design

  • People’s Choice Award, AIA Denver, 2008
  • Merit Award (Best Public/Private Special Use Facility), Gold Nugget Awards Pacific Coast Builders Conference, 2006