Monterey Bay Shores is to be a mixed-use resort complex on the coast of Monterey Bay in Sand City, California. The project146;s program consists of two main components: the complete ecological restoration of the site and the development of a world-class resort complex.
The intent of the design is to unify the resort program with the restoration program and in so doing create a unique architectural/landscape experience than integrates design, luxury and nature with state-of-the-art energy and environmental systems seamlessly situated in a spectacular setting. The goals associated with site restoration and ecological sensitivity are woven into the forms, programming arrangement and systems of the resort. The design team used these precepts to answer the self-imposed question 147;What is an eco-resort?148; and act as its guide in developing the project146;s forms, systems, rhythms and spaces.
The restoration program provides for recreating 37 acres of coastal dune habitat; including the majority of the resort146;s roofscape. The existing site is a derelict sand mine adjacent to a state dune preserve. The project proposes to reconstruct this destroyed dune ecosystem and reunify the chain of dunes that runs to the north and south of the site. More than six acres will be specifically designated for sensitive species habitats including the Snowy Plover, the Monterey Spineflower and the Smith Blue Butterfly.
The habitable program consists of a large wellness spa facility, 63 fractional ownership/hotel units, 63 hotel and condo units, 85 residential units each with extensive support spaces and systems. The resort146;s built forms and enclosures are inspired by and work in harmony with the surrounding and to-be-restored dune morphology to create a plan arrangement that maximizes views and creates sheltered eddies courtyards. The sectional 145;stepping back146; profile also helps achieve a very high percentage of rooms-with-view while maintaining a low height relative to the surrounding site. This sectional system also allows for the occupation of the restored habitats on the roofs.
The spa, hotel units and residences are organized around a central multi-level atrium that cascades down from the resort146;s main entryway to the central lobby of the wellness spa to form an open, glass enclosed vertical/horizontal plaza. Along the arms of single and double loaded corridors radiating from this central node are a series of glass towers that serve as way-finding markers, vertical transportation enclosures, passive and active ventilation chimneys, daylighting conduits, and solar hot water photovoltaic collectors. These expressive techtonic elements provide a rhythm and contrast to the aggressively naturalistic forms of the resort146;s living areas. The lushly planted internal atria, living walls, and glass towers become the lungs of the resort complex; providing air filtration and further connection between the restored local environment and the resort program experience.
Advanced water conservation systems and complete rain catchment will prevent runoff and remove strain from the local aquifer. By embracing the prevalent coastal wind, ample sun and opportunity to derive energy from geothermal exchange systems the project will provide for more than half of its own energy needs.
This conceptual design proposal strives to strike a fine balance between the client146;s program requirements, the broader vision of the California Coastal Commission and to raise the bar for what can be considered a sustainable development project.