Brooks Institute of Photography


Location: Santa Barbara, California

This 5-story historic concrete automobile warehouse was built in downtown Santa Barbara in the mid ‘50’s with a single car lift, no pedestrian elevator and no windows on three sides of the building. In 2001, we were commissioned to design a 44,000 sq. ft. remodel for Brooks Institute of Photography on a very constricted budget. The improvements included new state-of- the-art “digital” classrooms, new lecture style classrooms, two vibrant art galleries, supply store, faculty offices, an extensive array of new windows and skylights, state-of- the-art HVAC, elevator, restrooms and other ADA required upgrades. Although the Cota Street entry was required to retain its historic façade and lobby, the Thompson Avenue side took a decidedly more contemporary turn due to the simple block forms and wide openings of the western side of the former warehouse.