Monterey Conference Center

Completion/ 2018

Location/ Monterey, California

Awards/ 2023 AIACA Urban Design Award; 2018 Architectural Engineering Project of the Year, American Society of Civil Engineers.

In downtown Monterey, just steps from California’s oldest public building built by the Mexican Government, GLS has designed a newly completed entry plaza, fountain and drop-off adjacent to the Portola Hotel, City parking garage, downtown retail and the striking new Monterey Conference Center by SOM.

Located in an urban renewal area that has seen rapid change, the plaza is revitalizing the downtown by drawing more visitors while welcoming a dizzying array of overlapping uses. The plaza will serve the needs of the Hotel and Conference Center by providing a rich and iconic visitor arrival experience in Monterey and providing for pedestrian comfort, while hosting the extensive pragmatic requirements of heavy service loading, emergency vehicles and accessible parking. Given the need for a large amount of paving, rich materials are used to create a living room for the City. The plaza also creates a pedestrian connection from downtown retail to the Customs House Plaza and the waterfront, and hosts the annual state car show and many civic events that are the lifeblood of the Monterey economy. In addition to boosting economic performance in the Hotel and surrounding businesses, the renovated complex is creating jobs and long-term vitality for the region.

Project Update

Monterey Conference Center Portola Plaza receives 2023 AIACA Urban Design Award