Robert Hidey of Robert Hidey Architects (RHA) has been pioneering housing trends since the firm’s inception in 1990. RHA’s highly successful architectural design and meticulous attention to detail maintain a distinctive blend of art, history, creativity, and technology.
Q: What were your first impressions of San Juan Capistrano and the opportunity to build something lasting in California’s most historic city?
A: There is a very eclectic range of architectural ideas in San Juan Capistrano. To conceive something that had Mediterranean-Spanish aesthetics seemed like the right thing to do here. The city’s heritage is clearly the Mission and Spanish architectural design. In San Juan Capistrano, the climate is amazing. It’s far enough from the coast, but not too far. You get warm days that are cooled in the afternoon by the coastal breezes, so the climate inevitably draws people to the outdoors. That is what these plans do. They connect exceptionally well to the exteriors.
Q: Explain your approach to connecting the outdoor living spaces with the natural terrain of the site?
A: It was a wonderful surprise for us to spend more and more time on the site and realize how many of the lots really do have phenomenal views – from hillside, to distant mountains, and even some with ocean vistas. As a result, creating a plan that was focused on connecting the homes to their backyards made perfect sense to us.
Q: What sense of privacy and exclusivity does a buyer feel when entering the neighborhood?
A: In San Juan Capistrano, there are many long private drives that eventually reach an enclave of residences, so our approach is not uncharacteristic of the whole neighborhood. Additionally, the homes are not set around a traditional cul-de-sac. We gave the community more of an organic form that has an unconventional method of ceasing a right-of-way.
Q: What do you feel was accomplished by your firm to distinguish Oliva in San Juan Capistrano from other living experiences in Orange County?
A: This is more of a rural setting. It is nowhere near as dense as the living opportunities you would find anywhere else in this immediate area. Our developments have a lot of emphasis on a comfortable transition between the exterior into the interior. For example, there are glass walls that open up to a defined outdoor living area, creating a very comfortable, informal approach to the lifestyle. Alternative living areas include courts that are completely enclosed, providing protected space and great privacy from your neighbors.