Mountain Drive Cabana won the SBCA 2016 Construction Award in the New Residential category!

The project designed by architect Ellen Bildsten and built by general contractor Dylan Davidson of Creative Structural Design. Click here for the complete list of awards.  Dylan was off to his next construction adventure in Hawaii, so Ellen accepted the award and thanked the incredible clients and consultants on the project for their hard work.  They included Windward Engineering, Gilmour Land Surveying, Coastal Geology and Soil Inc. and lighting designer Ann Kale Associates Inc. - congratulations to all!

Mountain Drive Cabana - Click image for moreĀ 

Mountain Drive Cabana - Click image for more 

CHC Workshop "Solving the Missing Middle in Housing" - Friday May 13, 2016 SUMMARY

The Coastal Housing Coalition (CHC) is dedicated to finding solutions to California's South Coast housing crisis and reversing the adverse impacts that lack of workforce housing is having on our economy, environment and civic life.  The organization does this through advocacy, research and special projects; read more about the CHC at

The annual housing conference held on May 13, 2016 discussed our record-setting low vacancy rates along with continued escalating rental prices in Santa Barbara County.  The keynote speaker Dan Parolek emphasized the importance of providing more affordable community-based living as well as efforts to create higher density housing of the local workforce. Topics included the basic economics of developing rental housing, reviewing physical, financial and regulatory constraints.  Also included was a look at Santa Barbara's AUD (Average Unit-Size Density) program, reduced parking requirements and the impact of height restrictions. 

You can read more about the meeting by reporter John Palminteri here.

Workshop Session - "Innovative Design of High Density Housing"

This was one of three workshops which explored various multi-family design solutions.  The panelists, all architects, represented some of the highlights of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Francisco innovative multi-family housing.

Design panelists include: 

Moderated by:

October 2015 Newsletter

October has been a busy month in the Studio. With lots of projects and exciting events, here is our studio newsletter. 

- Food & Home Santa Barbara

Check out the Summer 2015 issue of Food & Home Santa Barbara, featuring Bildsten Architecture and Planning, Inc.  Ellen was interviewed by Leslie Westbrook regarding energy efficient homes and affordable housing for the Santa Barbara community. Click Here to read the full article.

- Isla Vista Community Center

We are glad to announce that Bildsten Architecture and Planning Inc. was one of three finalists chosen by the County of Santa Barbara for the Isla Vista Community Center project. Congratulations to Blackbird Architects for being chosen for the project! 

- 2015 Solar Decathlon

The office took a day to go down to check out the exciting innovative ideas that international students put forward for the 2015 Solar Decathlon, which was at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine California. Teams from international colleges and universities designed, built, and operated solar-powered houses and competed in such categories as construction cost, energy efficiency, and design. Click Here for more information about the 2015 decathlon. We enjoyed seeing so many inventive details and efficient solutions. Here are a few images from our decathlon adventure!