• Intro

    Blackbird Architects began in 1995, and is a full-service architectural firm skilled in the art and science of designing unique environments for living, learning, work and recreation.  We believe that collaboration between clients and architects, as well as landscape architects, engineers and artists, can ensure the realization of buildings and landscapes as places of clarity and beauty. In every project we aim to realize the most thoughtful, sensitive and sustainable design using common sense and an economy of means.

    Our firm is dedicated to providing comprehensive service and achieving optimum results through efficiency and open communication. Time and budget considerations are incorporated into our design and planning process to produce creative and cost-effective solutions. Our design graphics, production and presentation capabilities, and our ability to respond quickly and flexibly throughout the process help ensure successful outcomes for our clients.

  • Philosophy

    Blackbird Architects designs spaces where one will be easily and naturally oriented – where one has the sense of being at home in a place. We believe that a building and its environs are an integrated landscape for experience and enjoyment. Just as a tool can fit the hand and task comfortably, a place or building should embrace its inhabitants and their lives.

    In our work, we value radiant space and light over expensive materials and difficult details. We design for the innovative use of proven technologies to realize spaces of clarity and beauty that will function extremely well for our clients over the long-term.

    Our office, projects, and clients have been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for design achievements where beautiful spaces are realized that conserve resources and are sensitive to our environment.

  • Process

    It is only through the work of teams – comprised of clients, architects, engineers and other consultants – that projects of vision and substance are realized. Blackbird Architects is continually refining its abilities to lead, coordinate and participate in the collaborative endeavor. The firm assembles the best team available for each project, and takes pride in building good relations as well as good places. We find that people with different backgrounds offer unique points of view and lead us to new and unexpected discoveries (solutions). The process of realizing a project should be rewarding and it should be a pleasure.

    Blackbird Architects is itself a coherent team. Like-minded yet diverse, our personnel bring expertise from diverse countries, cultures and endeavors. This has led us to respect many points of view and sets of priorities as integral to the quality of our work.

    We pride ourselves on being good listeners, and on being able to translate our clients’ needs into thoughtful design. This has led Blackbird Architects to develop uncommonly clear, colorful and striking graphic communication techniques for use in our programming, outreach and design process. We find that attractive and clear communication of good design is critical in an ever more complex and participatory approvals process.

  • Collaborators

    Van Atta Associates | Landscape Architect

    Michael Singer Inc. | Artist

    Behnisch Architects | Architect

    Yianni Doulis Architecture Studio | Architect

    Tom Hurt Design Office | Architect

    Next Phase Studios Inc. | Architect

    Lynch/Eisinger/Design | Architect

    David Vanhoy Architect Incorporated | Architect

  • Awards, Honors, Commendations


    2017 Chrysalis Award, Commercial Remodel

    “UCSB TMP Classroom”

    2016 Chrysalis Award, Commercial Remodel, “Alma Rosa Tasting Room”
    2015  Master Design Award, “Alma Rosa Tasting Room”
    2015 Project Achievement Award, CMAA Southern California Chapter, Oxnard Union High School District’s Adolfo Camarillo and Hueneme High Schools Aquatics Centers.
    2014 Regional Chrysalis Award, “Micheltorena Residence”
    2013 Master Design Award, “Micheltorena Residence”
    2012 Merit Award, So. Cal Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for Coyote House
    2012 Structural Engineers Association of California, Excellence in Structural Engineering, Westmont College Expansion
    2011 Southern California Concrete Producers, Cornerstone Award, Westmont College Expansion
    2011 US Green Building Council California Central Coast Chapter (C4), LEED Parade Awards – Grand Prize, Westmont College
    2011 National Honor Award, American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for Casa Nueva
    2010 The President’s Award, Santa Barbara Beautiful for Santa Barbara Zoo California Trails Exhibit
    2010 Award of Excellence – American Society of Landscape Architects, “Casa Nueva” Office Building (In collaboration with Van Atta Landscape Architects)
    2010 Builder of the Year Award – Santa Barbara Contractors Association, California Trails Exhibit Santa                 Barbara Zoo
     2009 Green Business Award – Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County
     2007  ASLA Award of Merit, ASLA Southern California Chapter, A Community on the Green, MTD Housing
    2008 ASLA Award of Honor, ASLA Southern California Chapter, Lagoon Park: Living at the Edge of Wilderness (In collaboration with Van Atta Landscape Architects)
    2005 Award of High Honor (First Prize), Savings By Design Energy Efficiency Integration Awards, “Casa Nueva” Santa Barbara County Office Building
    2002 California Council of the AIA, Savings by Design, Energy Efficiency & Integration Award Citation, Watershed Resource Center
    2004 Award of High Honor, The Sustainability Project Green Building Awards, Design Award for Distinguished New Institutional Building and Landscape, “Casa Nueva” Office Building
    2003 American Institute of Architects – Santa Barbara Chapter, Design Award for Architectural Excellence & Innovative Building and Technology Award, El Capitan Canyon Campground
    2003 American Institute of Architects – Santa Barbara Chapter, Design Award for Architectural Excellence & Adaptive Re-use Award, New England Science Center
    2003 Finalist – Livable Places: Innovations in Community Design & Housing         Competition
    2002 First Place, Santa Barbara MTD Housing Design/Build Competition; a sustainable, transit-oriented community with 400 units of workforce and affordable housing.
    2002 Santa Barbara Green Award, Blackbird Architects
    2002 Santa Barbara Beautiful Award, Best Commercial Remodel, Watershed Resource Center
    2002 Santa Barbara Contractors Association, Best Commercial Green Building, Watershed Resource Center
    2002 National Remodelers’ Association Chrysalis Award, Best Commercial Remodel in Southern California, Watershed Resource Center
    2001 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Certificate of                      Appreciation, Van Atta Design Studios
    2000 AIA / Santa Barbara Chapter Merit Award, Van Atta Design Studios
    2000 Santa Barbara Beautiful Award, Sustainable Building, Van Atta Design Studios
    1999 Santa Barbara Beautiful Award, Best New Commercial Building, Van Atta Design Studios
    1999 Honor Award for Sustainable Design, Boston Society of Architects and AIA for Van Atta Design Studios
    1999 Honor Award (First Prize) – The Great Valley Center and the AIACC, Housing the Next 10 Million Competition, Redevelopment Site
    1999 Honor Award (First Prize), Sustainable Design, Boston Society of Architects/AIA with BSA/AIA New          York Jury, Van Atta Design Studios