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Ojai Valley Inn Building Culinary and Events Center

OJAI, California — The Ojai Valley Inn has broken ground on a multiuse epicurean showplace, the Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn, set for debut events this year.

Architect Howard Backen with Backen Gillam Kroeger in Napa Valley has designed the expansive 20,000-square-foot culinary and event center to connect food culture with indoor/outdoor functions.

“It is a thrill to announce such a creative and ambitious continuation of Ojai’s valley-to-table culinary heritage,” said Alex Kim, managing director at the Ojai Valley Inn. “The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn will provide spectacular new venues for our guests and even more exceptional culinary experiences. Our team of world-class chefs, along with some of the greatest culinary talent from around the globe, will reintroduce the Inn as the premier West Coast culinary destination.”

The Farmhouse atOjai Valley Inn is a connected natural campus of distinct spaces: the Kitchen, the Library, the Lawn and the Great Room — an expansive 8,500-square-foot multiuse ballroom space. The wood and glass barn-inspired structures feature a natural palette of forest browns and grays, redwood siding, 25-foot-high ceilings and exposed wooden trusses. The Kitchen is designed for open demo format, allowing up to 80 guests a front row seat to the chefs in action; the adjacent Library and garden courtyard, each seating up to 20, will serve as private dining and meeting areas. Additionally, tall sliding doors will open dramatically to the Lawn, which features expanded outdoor seating, a landscaped garden of native olive trees and lavender, an organic vegetable and herb garden and a 100-year-old oak tree anchoring the center focal point.

“The magical surroundings and natural backdrop of Ojai is the main inspiration for the design of the Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn,” said Architectural Digest Award-winning architect Backen, who is known for his work on projects such as Archetype, Esperanza and the Napa Valley Reserve in Napa Valley, among many others. “The consistently mild weather and expansive space allowed me to open up the center and incorporate a natural aesthetic throughout with rustic, yet clean and simple, natural design.”