Sumida Garden Apartments

Location: Goleta, CA
Architect: Carl Schneider, AIA
Client: The Towbes Group
Project Budget: Over $20 million
Size: 200 units, 20 du, approx. 200,000 s.f.

With very little rental housing created on the South Coast over the last 2 decades, this 200-unit apartment complex fills only a portion of the pent-up demand of the local rental market. In a central location, it has easy access to shopping in Old Town Goleta as well as educational and employment opportunities at both UCSB and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. As part of the project, two bus stops were built on a major route to enhance resident’s access to the local bus service that runs through the Goleta – Santa Barbara area. It is also located within biking distance of the Santa Barbara Airport and Goleta Beach Park via the local bike path system.

The project gets its architectural character and form from Goleta’s agricultural past. The buildings use simple gable roofs, board and batt siding along with wooden trellis elements to pay homage to the local barn vernacular. In particular the central recreation building utilizes the broken pitched porches, gabled roof dormers and a stone fireplace to reflect the architectural history of the Goleta Valley. The project colors include a variety of earth tones, varying from a barn red with the obvious barn reference to a rusty yellow referencing the local historic Goleta Valley train station and a sage green reminding one of the immense agricultural heritage of Goleta.

Built on a former nursery growing grounds, the property had a grove of skyline palm trees that had been there for many years. These palms were relocated on site to keep and maintain their local visual landmark status in the immediate area. Additionally, areas of the site were landscaped in a way to differentiate various local plant palettes, creating intimate garden areas, i.e. a citrus grove is in one corner of the property to hearken back to the lemon orchards that Goleta is historically known for and in another corner native, low water use type use plants were used that thrive in the mild Mediterranean climate the area. Thus residents can experience a little bit of Goleta’s abundant flora variety just a few steps out their door.

Each unit has its own private outdoor space via either a ground level patio or a second floor deck. The residents can also use the common open space within the project which contains a pool, spa, BBQ area, children’s play area with play equipment and a grass area for free play ala Frisbee and such.