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High-quality design that creates a strong community identity and enhances long-term value has been an integral part of master planning for The Irvine Ranch since this process began more than half a century ago.

Development on The Ranch has always been distinctive and has earned a reputation internationally for its quality because of the Irvine Company’s commitment to creating not just a product but a place.

The company has a long history of hiring the best architectural professionals and giving them a major role in planning new communities on The Ranch. This was a top priority of Ray Watson, an architect who became one of the company’s first presidents. As new communities are conceived, architects are part of the team along with builders, civil engineers and landscape designers. The collaboration that takes place makes it possible to integrate every aspect of a project and to achieve a distinct character in each community that enhances the quality of life for residents.


Irvine Company community planners conduct an extensive architectural design review process for residential, office, retail and resort properties. The planners’ goal is to ensure that development across The Ranch stays true to the Master Plan and that all elements of a community are designed to work in harmony with each other.

The planning team is concerned with everything from a new community’s master plan to tiny details like the color and size of entry sign tiles. The group is guided by the following objectives:

  • Every project, while having its own distinct personality, is designed to complement community-wide planning and design goals. Every project reflects a balance between site planning, civil engineering, landscape and architecture.
  • Company planners focus on creating timeless living environments, each with their own identity and character. Residential areas are planned as “villages” with a distinct character and identity. Individual land uses have a positive synergistic relationship with the community as a whole.
  • Structural architecture and landscape architecture are seamlessly interwoven to create an aesthetically pleasing sense of place. Landscape creates space and character and should reinforce the site plan. Architecture is historically inspired and has design integrity.