A. QUINCY JONES, FAIA
A. Quincy Jones, FAIA, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, studied architecture at the University of Washington, and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1940s. Throughout the 1950s (and beyond), Jones created innovative tract homes with developer Joseph Eichler. In Rancho Mirage, his first commission was recently discovered, previously thought unbuilt: the Lester-Lake Residence (1954) at Thunderbird Country Club. It was designated historic by the City of Rancho Mirage in 2021.
Jones’ best-known desert project is ‘Sunnylands.’ In the early 1960s, Walter and Leonore Annenberg purchased 200 acres of undeveloped land near Tamarisk Country Club. The Annenbergs’ interior designer, former actor William (Billy) Haines, recommended A. Quincy Jones as an architect. Built in 1965, this lavish 25,000-square-foot home is beautifully incorporated into the surrounding landscape. It features a dramatic open-air entry, central skylight, sprawling outdoor spaces, and a cohesive flow of exterior to interior spaces. The Annenbergs requested a Mayan look, achieved with a pyramid-shaped roofline, imported lava rock, and the estate’s vibrant yellow Mayan sun god motif. Today, Sunnylands welcomes visitors from across the globe and hosts world leaders in politics, business, and education to “promote world peace and facilitate international agreement.”