Ted Taylor Vocational Ag Center at Rancho Cielo


This project is sited on a 100 acre property owned by the County of Monterey which was used as their Boys Ranch.

The facilities had not been used for many years and retired Judge Hon. John Phillips, now on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors called on us to conduct a facilities assessment so that he could fully understand the condition and usability of the buildings to support alternative programs for at-risk youth. We contributed this study as a pro bono effort and have supported the Rancho with additional volunteer services including the design of their amphitheater and accommodations for donor recognition.

We worked closely with the Judge and his board and developed a site Master Plan including new utilities, buildings, parking, play fields, and recreational assets as required to secure planning approvals from the County of Monterey.

The new Ted Taylor Ag Vocational Center at Rancho Cielo offers training for highly-skilled, living wage jobs serving the region’s largest industry – agriculture – and the design reflects historic agricultural building forms found throughout the Salinas Valley.  The compact building layout clusters four training wings and their second-floor classrooms in a pinwheel around a central two-story building containing common spaces, offices, services and vertical circulation. This reduces the overall building footprint on site while providing efficient access and a strong building identity.  This layout provides each wing generous outdoor areas to support individual program activities and easy vehicular maneuvering space to access roll-up doors.  On the interior, structural and mechanical systems are exposed to view.  The classrooms provide windows to shop floors below, providing visual connections to the subjects being taught. Raised clerestories in training wings contribute to agricultural aesthetics and provide ample natural light.

Photos by Patrick Tregenza