PWP Landscape Architecture

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South Coast Plaza Town Center


Costa Mesa, California

Completion Date



IBM Corporation and C.J. Segerstrom and Sons


Cesar Pelli, CRS Sirrine


>Parks >Civic Landscapes

South Coast Plaza Town Center offers a viable pedestrian-oriented area of business, commerce, recreation, and culture in Orange County. Peter Walker’s involvement dates from the early 1970s when he and his colleagues at SWA refashioned a flat lima-bean field into a five-acre naturalistic park—with curvilinear paths, mounds, and groves of deciduous trees and conifers—that over the years has become the core of the development. In 1991 PWP created an entry court for Cesar Pelli’s Plaza Tower. A series of four-inch bands of steel embedded in the pavement visually connect the building with its separate parking structure. Twin fountains frame the court and are composed of stainless steel concentric rings that form a series of alternating weirs and pools. A site-specific sculpture, Aiko Miyawaki’s Utsourohi, continues the play of reflective surfaces. South Coast Plaza is also home to an opera, a theater, a concert hall, and the town club, where a sunken water garden features a George Rickey sculpture. The ramped entrance to the opera house is planted with geometric boxwood hedges and contains a major sculpture by Joan Miro.


Aiko Miyawaki, George Rickey, Juan Miro (artists)