SWA Laguna Beach

Leveraging a planning-driven approach to strengthen landscapes across scales

Opened in 1976 to lead a long series of planned community projects for the Irvine Company, SWA Laguna Beach is a planning-driven studio underpinned by a deep understanding of coastal California environments. For decades, designers from the small Orange County city have led some of the firm’s most ambitious projects, including an ongoing redesign of Irvine’s Great Park, a 1,300-acre regional park in the studio’s backyard, as well as smaller projects like a suite of micro-planning projects in Whittier, California, which have cumulatively transformed the accessibility, connectivity, and quality of the city’s open space over the years. An even more considerable portion of the studio’s work is urban-scale projects across the Middle East and Asia, particularly in Egypt, China, Taiwan, and elsewhere. Managing Principal Sean O’Malley calls on over 35 years of experience at SWA to lead the studio alongside a skilled team of landscape architects, planners, and urban designers.

Located just an hour’s drive from downtown Los Angeles in a small city along the iconic California coastline, SWA Laguna Beach is a rigorous studio in a beachy setting, having adopted the surrounding town’s arts and environment-oriented mindset over the years. Known for its sweeping vistas, coves, and rich cultural programming, the city provides easy access to clients (and ideal retreat locations) throughout Southern California as well as the greater Los Angeles metro area.

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