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2018 Award Winners



Community Facility


The Hilltop Club at Esencia


Rancho Mission Viejo, Calif.

Architect/Designer | Robert Hidey Architects

Builder | Rancho Mission Viejo Company

Developer | Rancho Mission Viejo Company

Land Planner | Fuscoe Engineering, Inc.

Landscape Architect/Designer | Land Concern

Interior Designer | Design Lines, Inc.

Photographer | Brad Nelson

At the highest point within the distinctive community of Esencia lies its major recreational and social amenity, the Hilltop Club. Inspired by traditional building forms celebrating ranch life, the complex is a blend of agrarian and adobe typologies, accented by contemporary materials and architectural detailing.

The compound is served by a unique combination of social and fitness-oriented functionaries, arranged among a collection of outdoor activities and amenities. The major programmatic components include a state-of-the-art group fitness and open-air gym that opens to an outdoor training area, a retro arcade and gaming area, as well as  an event bar with lounge seating.

Primary interior spaces are flanked by sprawling covered outdoor areas extending the programmatic functions toward the outdoors. The site is outfitted with a multitude of outdoor areas, including a welcoming arrival court and fountain, a reservable courtyard with catering kitchen for private events, crushed oyster-shell bocce courts, a sunken fire pit and seating area, as well as a covered barbecue pavilion and dining area.

From the Judges
Judges loved that the amenity space is a collection of charming, architecturally interwoven buildings instead of one building, and the buildings are the right scale for the site and community. The agrarian look is perfect for the setting, and the bold color statements are fantastic.

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