Welcome Center

THE CORE OF THE RANCH The new Ranch Welcome Center will answer a great need by providing a clear point of arrival for people coming to a retreat or conference at the Ranch. As an obvious central landmark, it will provide a sense of arrival and welcome. Under current conditions, this missing piece is a lost opportunity to provide human connection, direction, and gracious orientation during the crucial beginning minutes and hours of a retreat, especially for first-time guests. Offering hospitality is central to the Ranch’s purpose and comes directly from the Christian tradition that is the Ranch’s reason for being, and passed down to us today through the White Family, the Episcopal Bishops of California and the Order of St. Francis, and is represented by St. Paul’s advice to “Forget not to show love unto strangers, for thereby have some entertained angels unawares.” Ranch staff and volunteers are key to achieving the Ranch’s purpose. The Welcome Center will function as the core of Ranch operations, creating a main area for visitors and staff to interact while ongoing office work can continue, making prudent use of Ranch resources. The Welcome Center will be the foundation of a viable future for the Ranch by providing the ability to expand volunteer and service programs, retain capable employees, and thereby expand services to a more diverse community. With this core, functional hub of the site in place, the Ranch can offer its special hospitality to all guests, providing an opportunity for people to benefit from access to nature, wholesome food and a nurturing place. The Welcome Center project includes: A WELCOMING ENTRY AND ACCESSIBILITY The project will allow hospitality to begin at the moment of arrival, and establish a welcoming place of reception. The Center is built into the hill at the current upper parking area, utilizing the existing bank with a two- story structure. An interior elevator, with interior and exterior stairways remove physical barriers to arrival by providing accessibility to the upper Critically needed staff offices on the upper level also provide space for volunteers, staff meetings, and a central, open workroom. A designated reception area improves office efficiency and offers guests an obvious area for inquiries and direction. Steps, decking, vegetation and windows all contribute to an inviting ‘treehouse’ entrance to the upper level. The upper level second floor is the same elevation as the Refectory, Chapel, Ranch House, and existing office trailer. PORCH and INTERIOR DETAILS Architectural details visually tie the building to details and materials of the iconic Ranch House. The entry room evokes the character of the Ranch House living room and library. POND MEETING HOUSE This medium sized meeting house flanking the Welcome Center will pro- vide a needed room that better accommodates space requirements for Webb Lodge guests and is an excellent option for day-use guest meetings. This will make Swing Pavilion available for larger group use. ENTRY PORTAL The arrangement of the Welcome Center and Pond Meeting House creates a ‘portal’ to the heart of the Ranch; visually deemphasizing the vehicular road to the lodging areas, but leaves the vehicular route as an option. This friendly and obvious entry orients guest arrival and con- nects guests to the Green. TIMBER STEPS Wood timber landscape steps wrap around the existing large oak, lead- ing people to the Green, and the upper level entry. THE GREEN The Welcome Center will allow the current asphalt parking lot in front of the Refectory to be relocated, establishing a central outdoor gathering and activity area for guests and a ‘hands-on’ kitchen demonstration garden. A covered area for picnic tables, and active play such as bas- ketball and ping pong, four square, will also be part of the Green. The Casita will become the art studio. REFECTORY A new foyer and covered porch will improve the south façade of the Refectory, provide covered outdoor gathering space, a place for coats and umbrellas, and a new front door orientation to improve the function- ing of the dining room and complement the Green. An expansion to the dining area will enhance the ability to serve different kinds of groups with divergent program goals, and also increase dining capacity. FREIGHT DELIVERY Trucks and deliveries will unload at the Welcome Center loading dock and move goods via an outdoor freight elevator to the upper elevation. The existing road running between the Chapel and Casita will be recon- figured as an emergency access only, with no general vehicle use. This removes truck traffic from the top of the hill. elevations of the site. SECOND FLOOR ENTRY



Building concept by Jon Worden

Accessible path to lower elevations:

Harrison House, Cottages, Pool

Casita Creative Arts Studio

View deck


Dining area addition

Kitchen Garden

Emergency vehicle access only


Basket- ball

Porch addition

To Ranch House and Chapel


The Green

Rainwater collection fountain


Foyer addition- main entry

Swing Pavilion

Picnic tables

Library: Book and gift shop

Second floor entry


Welcome Center

Webb Lodge



Timber steps

loading zone space


Freight delivery

Porch at first floor entry

Existing driveway up


Entry Courtyard

Existing maintenance building

Future expanded and restored pond

H/C and loading parking

Deck seating



Pond Meeting House


Existing parking lot

A Welcome Center for

Master Plan Priority One

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