ima was the Master Landscape Architect for the design of one of Orange County’s largest recent communities, Esencia in Rancho Mission Viejo. The development includes new schools, parks, recreational facilities, and up to 5 million square feet of commercial space with multi-use trails throughout the community. Up to 6,000 of the 14,000 new homes will be dedicated to residents 55 and older, intermingled throughout residential areas.
Esencia is approximately 800 acres and includes approximately 3,000 dwellings along with neighborhood retail, schools, child care and other support services. ima, as Master Landscape Architect, led the design of the landscape and amenities programs, including the design studies for the community garden, recreation facilities, parks, trails, amenities and open space areas. It was important to develop a program to capture the interests of many diverse groups within the community, offering unique experiences for all residents and guests.
A key feature is the community garden, containing a working organic farm. This amenity allows neighbors to tend plots of vegetables, herbs and flowers with the help of Farmer D. The community garden cultivates real community and education while providing flavorful and nutritious produce for salads and sides.