Ladera Ranch

Design Guidelines for Custom Homes in Covenant Hills
Ladera Ranch, California

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A new community of approximately 4,000 acres, with sixteen parks, five “village” clubhouses, seven walking- and hiking trails, and a guard-gated enclave with 232 custom-home sites, for which stringent-but-flexible design guidelines were needed.

The developer wished to encourage high-quality construction, context-respecting design and neighbor-sensitive massing while allowing individual design freedom. To facilitate the development of appropriate imagery, extensive pictorial guides were developed. To control scale and mass, formulae that encouraged complex, additive forms—as opposed to massive blocks—were devised. Allowable materials were selected for their evocative qualities. Administering the Design Guidelines included detailed design reviews and collaborative refinement of aesthetics.