Thursday, December 3, 2009

Whimsical Santa Barbara Architecture


The Chapala Lofts
Downtown Santa Barbara


One block from State Street and six blocks from the beach, El Andaluz is within walking distance from Santa Barbara's many civic and cultural amenities.



Four beautiful homes designed by award winning Santa Barbara Architect Jeff Shelton. Located above two car garages for each home, access is by way of individual elevators. Typical of the mixed-use style of downtown architecture, the ground floor will eventually be occupied by a cafe/pub, and other commercial enterprises.

Based on the age old European concept of clustering homes and businesses in order to preserve open space and lessen dependence on the use of automobiles use; El Andaluz has created quite a stir in the Santa Barbara communities. The Moroccan influenced structure has been hailed as a work of art as well as a continuation of the "canyonization" of the downtown area. An outspoken proponent of greater density in Santa Barbara's city core, Sheldon said that this building "is what a city needs, engaging, pedestrian-oriented architecture."

The fanciful details define the experience: extensive handmade original tile work designed by Jeff Sheldon & Co.; deeply hued pots by local artisans puntuate the curvey, sensual plaster walls. The Architect's brother, David Sheldon custom created all the decorative iron in the building as well as the raw metal that encases the balconies.


Views of the Gaudi like entrance's coffered ceiling art and whimsical light sculpture.






View of the Interior Courtyard, fountain and entrance to each of the four units



Metal sculptures encase the balconies of the lofts as viewed from the central courtyard

Example of interior tile work in the kitchen. An old world feeling with up to the minute appliances. Beautiful wood and marble counter tops.

Living Room with lots of space for wall art and an inviting outdoor balcony
Dining Area open to kitchen with counter breakfast bar
Family Room/Den. Note the continuation of decorative floor tile
Views of the City from private balcony off Guest suite


Mountain Views


Master Suite with Custom Fireplace

Master suite with views towards master bath

Master Bath



Guest Bedroom Suite with private balcony
Side of Building showcasing Iron Balcony detail
Iron Railing Detail


The two remaining smaller units are currently offered for sale at $2,500,000 and $2,800,000, available through Santa Barbara Multiple Listing
I am sure that Dr. Zues would have happily written a wonderful fantasy story about El Andaluz...one tile... two tiles, green tiles...blue tiles...
Much of the information referenced herein is paraphrased from an article published in the Independent on June 25th by Michael Seabaugh. Photographs by Carla Reeves.



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