About Santa Barbara Architecture

The very nature of Santa Barbara architecture draws from the fact that the geographic orientation of Santa Barbara faces south and east.   Because of this the placement of buildings, particularly residences, has everything to do with how light enters an enclosed space, how that light reflects off the exterior surfaces and how it illuminates interior spaces.

Santa Barbara has a deep architectural historical context, from the simple white washed adobe structures of the early Spanish period to the advent of an east coast vernacular brought by the influx of wealthy transplants to the modern era of Mediterranean glass and new material structures.

Capturing that essence of light, regardless of “architectural style”, is the essence of achieving a Santa Barbara Design.

Residential Design

To embody the feel and spirit of Santa Barbara architecture my design work encompasses all those elements plus many of the principals for designing intimate residential spaces as illuminated by Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language.   It is also influenced by the need to accomplish a residential design within the confines of, in many cases, limited space and the embodiment of sustainable design principles.

Design Philosophy

The element of my design philosophy is to seek an obtainable design solution, directly integrating the clients chosen architectural style, which will allow for a livable space which can become a “home”; a home which reflects the lifestyle and varied interests of the client.

Featured Project

The Howard residence was commissioned in 2009 to allow for the reconstruction of a “retirement” residence on a small lot in the Mission Canyon Heights area of Santa Barbara.  The concept for this house was to be able to capture the spectacular views of La Cumbre Peak and the Santa Ynez mountains directly to the north of the site, to capture the southerly light, and most of all to have a design which reflected both the husbands and wife’s desire to have a house which centered around their love for cooking. The house plan focuses on the kitchen as the social and active center of the house and faces a garden area which receives plentiful southerly sun all year long.  Within the design parameter it was also desired to make this house as “green” as possible, including the incorporation of an active solar system.