Twenty-four design firms from around the world submitted proposals to compete for the job of Master Designer of the Orange County Great Park. The Orange County Great Park Corporation invited 38 world-class firms to submit plans for the park's layout and opened the design competition to other qualified local and regional architectural firms.

"Leading design firms from Europe, Asia, Orange County and throughout the United States are competing to design the Orange County Great Park,'" said Larry Agran, chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation. "The quality and creativity of these firms guarantees that the Orange County Great Park will be one of the finest parks anywhere in the world."

The submitted proposals will be evaluated by the six distinguished professionals who serve on the Orange County Great Park design jury panel, chaired by Dr. Hamid Shirvani, FASLA, FRSA, AICP, provost and professor of Architecture at Chapman University. Members of the jury design panel include Dr. Diane Ghirirado, professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California; Dr. Mark Francis, FASLA, professor of landscape architecture at University of California; George Bissell, FAIA, president of Bissell Architects in Newport Beach, Calif.; Dan Heinfeld, FAIA, president of LPA Irvine; Michael Rotondi, FAIA, architect and founder of Morphoris in Los Angeles, and; Linda Pollak, ALA, ASLA, partner, Marpillero/Park Architects, New York.

The semi-finalists selected by the board will be provided a stipend to develop a conceptual design plan for the park. A second design jury panel will review the designs and make recommendations to the board. In October, the board will select a master designer. The winning designer will be commissioned to fully develop all the schematics, implementation designs, plans and other necessary documents.

All conceptual designs will be on public display in Irvine City Hall and other locations throughout the county, and they will also be posted on the Great Park Web site, The public is encouraged to review proposals and provide feedback. Public comments will be summarized and reported to the board of directors to assist them in the selection process.

The park will be developed on the site of the decommissioned El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, on seven square miles of land in the geographic center of Orange County, Calif.