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Residential Architecture

Evolution of the Southern California Home

In the 1960s and 1970s, housing on The Irvine Ranch® reflected a mix of designs dominated by the California Ranch style with beige stucco walls and wood shake roofs. The influence of San Francisco architects who were creating modern structures resulted in floor plans that were more open and incorporated more glass than was typical in homes in this area at that time.

Gradually, there was a shift in design on The Ranch to a more Mediterranean style, with homes in the 1980s featuring pastel colors and red tile roofs. This look evolved into a more authentic Tuscan style; since the 1990s, there has been a shift toward colors reflecting the natural surroundings of the structures, as well as more authentic historical detailing.

In the 1980s, Irvine Company Chairman Donald Bren initiated a revival of the Mediterranean style on The Ranch. This approach was ideal for the region’s climate and landscape, and Westpark, built in northwest Irvine in 1984, became the first community on The Ranch designed in the tradition of a Mediterranean village. The revival of this style has continued ever since.

By emulating classical forms, designers have brought a greater sense of timelessness to developments on The Ranch. Overall, the architecture has a strong sense of continuity, yet each village has its own unique character and lifestyle.