Santa Barbara’s romantic image and unique sense of place is reinforced by an architectural tradition that reﬂects the beautiful natural setting. Few places in Santa Barbara leave an impression like El Paseo, Meridian Studios, and the sacred Mission garden. We drew inspiration from these local sites, linking the region’s horticultural bounty and sense of history. Our design intended to create a sense of harmony between the architecture and surrounding environment, through careful design of the paseos, courtyards, and individual gardens. We used the El Pueblo Viejo District guidelines as a starting point for the type of graceful proportion and distinctive character we aimed to achieve. A warm and welcoming feeling was accomplished through the use of appropriately rich plant palettes and paving patterns.
Flowering trees, espaliers, and vines burgeon out of planting pockets, set close to the building walls. Large ceramic pots are ﬁlled with specimen palms and lush plantings. Canopy trees provide cool shade and colorful vines cascade along stairways and between buildings to add depth, color and sculptural form to the simplicity of stucco walls. Landscaping along the perimeter features canopy trees and groupings of palms that are sensitively placed to indicate entry areas, while still maintaining mountain views.