SOCO or South Coast Collection, a.k.a. “The OC Mix” is Orange County’s central shopping destination, inspiring decorators, designers, chefs and trendsetters. They have over 70 carefully curated restaurants, showrooms and stores. This outdoor venue is always bustling with people – outdoor yoga classes, live entertainment, planting, and painting workshops are just some of the regular activities that draw crowds, not to mention their gourmet coffee shops, fine wine bars, and one-of-a-kind boutiques.
The developer of SOCO envisioned a place where So Cal’s top interior designers and their clients would have an unmatched selection of design resources appealing to every taste and budget. They wanted to create an easy-to navigate, visually appealing destination for designers to spend a day with their clients perusing couture and boutique suppliers, and then, perhaps, enjoy a gourmet lunch, craft coffee, or post appointment cocktail to discuss a project.
SOCO hired Andre to create the luxurious landscape appointments for this inspiring designer destination. Our plan was to study the construction plans carefully, provide consulting and value engineering, including creating an irrigation plan that provided maximum water efficiency, weigh in on overall design factors, including re-specing or re-routing plants and trees that were not practical or appropriate for the designated space considering their long-term growth habit, and locate the unique specimen trees and hard-to-find plants of the best quality and size and last – all before, say, a grand opening approaches.
Nearly two decades later the SOCO venue is a thriving destination. The landscape has had plenty of years to mature, and as planned, graces the architecture of the buildings with intentionality. Bringing living, growing things into a retail space, invites guests to stay awhile. Whether following a trumpet vine down an unexplored pathway or losing yourself beneath twisting aloe trees that shade you just enough to continue creatively thinking about your next project, the SOCO center is that place. Andre completed the SOCO project on time and on budget with the long-term success of the landscape in mind. We create really cool retail spaces – and we get a kick out of it.