Congratulations to The Oaks Farms by Davidson Communities! This unique community, rooted in the ethos and history of San Juan Capistrano, is now the winner of multiple industry awards, including: “Residental Housing Project of the Year” at the 2016 Gold Nugget Awards and “Detached Community of the Year” at the 2016 BIA SOCAL awards. An ongoing relationship of more than 30 years between Land Concern and Bill Davidson has produced homes and spaces that have delighted homeowners and designers alike and The Oaks delivers on that legacy.
One of the primary goals for Land Concern was to help bridge the presence of a world-class equestrian facility with a brand new residential community, while celebrating the integrity and qualities that make each special. Previously owned by Joan Irvine Smith, the equestrian facility has been an iconic location within Orange County, and a home to her horse breeding program.
The area itself is a richly diverse and thriving natural landscape; we were fortunate to have a number of beautiful features to work with on site, which were honored from concept to construction.
THE OAK TREES
Some of the most significant components of the area, the mature Coast Live Oaks and California Sycamores across the property, required an extra level of planning, design and collaboration to ensure their continued presence throughout the community. Fully boxed and monitored, these titans of the California landscape were ready to be placed in their new homes.
These oaks occupy pride of place throughout the community and equestrian center. These magnificent trees represented an opportunity to replaced traditional post lighting fixtures and are instead ornamented with lanterns that sparkle like jewels in the crown of leaves. The end result is breathtaking and further enhances the sense of place.
THE EQUESTRIAN FACILITY
The equestrian facility encompassed the entire site, but was revamped and consolidated to roughly half of the existing space. Despite the downsize, the equestrian center not only maintains it’s original authenticity, it remains a significant part of the experience and fabric of The Oaks Farms.
Several plants used throughout The Oaks were chosen for their breezy characteristics, namely the Poplars, Slender Velt Grass, and Bunny Tails Grass. These types of plants draw attention to the wind that crosses the adjacent San Juan Creek, and enhances relaxed feel of the community.
Additionally, a whole nursery was carefully tended for reuse by means of plant material harvested on site. Numerous oak saplings, cacti, succulents, roses, and hedge material contributed to keeping the character of the equestrian facility intact.
Another local asset, the nearby Para Adobe, is artfully reflected in the homes design by Douglas Mansfield Architects. The project entrance also captures these adobe details in the gated entry adorned with gas lanterns and the reclaimed mahogany fencing throughout.
The project itself was a significant opportunity to solve a unique situation within landscape design, and resulted in a beautiful environment that dramatically enhances the sense of place.
When a project has this many design opportunities and assets you feel lucky to be a part of the team and our gratitude extends personally to Bill for his focus, attention to detail and vision.
Read more about our involvement on this exciting new project by visiting the portfolio.