We presented our Sierra Madre project to the Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review last week for the first time and they were very pleased with the project!
The Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review is tasked with ensuring the design of homes in the County area meet the criteria of good design and that the proposed design is appropriate for the neighborhood and site. They have a difficult job and must balance the desires of the property owner with what is best for the site and what is allowable by the zoning ordinance. Often they are forced to turn away projects that are too big or too tall for the neighborhood and instruct the property owner to find an alternate approach. Typically in Santa Barbara the design review process is a 3 step process; conceptual then preliminary and final review. A project may sail thru these steps if the design is of high quality and the drawings have the information and detail required. We also use colored perspective images like the one above and models to present our ideas. Not only are these useful for the design process and for client communication but the design board really appreciates the extra effort. They can look at these and immediately understand what we are trying to do.
The design board members liked the sensitive approach of placing the addition on the back of the house and using the existing topography to integrate the lower story into the site. They appreciated the low impact on the neighborhood especially that the design does not effect anyones views or privacy. They liked the glass wall opening up to the view and how we are providing shade for the glass without interrupting the view. They asked us to return for preliminary review where we will be able to present more developed drawings, details and material choices. We will be working with our structural engineer to dial in the sizes and location of structural elements. We will also lean heavily on door and window experts to find the best layout for the glass wall, multi-sliders, folding or some combination? Working closely with talented people helps us achieve the best project possible.
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