BIG WIN for AB design studio at 2019 AIA Santa Barbara Annual GALA!


AB design studio is thrilled to have three projects recognized in AIASB design awards competition.

Ellen Beldsten honored with Presidents Award B+WOn Friday, December 6th, AB team members Clay Aurell, Josh Blumer, and Eric Behr attended AIA Santa Barbara's (AIASB) 2019 Annual Design Awards Holiday Gala. A sold out crowd of over 120 guests enjoyed the exquisite holiday decorations of the University Club while mingling and reconnecting with the region's finest design professionals. This year, the chapter celebrated the 90th anniversary of its creation as well as efforts led by Winsor Soule, FAIA, George Washington Smith, AIA, John Frederick Murphy, FAIA and Henry W. Howell, AIA-and others in 1929. The President of AIA, William Bates, FAIA offered a recorded greeting to members in celebration of the milestone anniversary and local architect Ellen Bildsten was honored with the Lutah Maria Riggs Presidents Award acknowledging her huge contribution to AIASB's Advocacy Committee. Additionally, participants celebrated our community’s architectural heritage through the presentation of Design Awards. The purpose of the Design Awards is to recognize and honor excellence in architecture within our local built environment and by AIA Santa Barbara architects beyond our region. The evening was filled with meaningful recognitions and AB design studio was proud to sponsor the momentous occasion. 

Karen Feeney accepts awardSubmissions to the design awards were made by architects both within the the Santa Barbara area as well as those outside the area with projects within the county. Honor, Merit, and Honorable Mentions were recognized in the following categories: Commercial, Single Family Residential, Mixed-use and Multi-Family Residential, Historic Preservation, Restoration, Rehabilitation or Reconstruction, Santa Barbara Architectural Heritage, Small Projects: Single Family Residential Additions, Remodels or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s,)  Commercial Interiors, Residential  Interiors and Proposed / Unbuilt Projects. 

AB design studio was proud to take home awards in the following categories:

Honor Award for Honey House in the Single Family Residential Category

Honey House Design Awards 2019

Merit Award for The Wayfarer in the Commercial Interiors Category

Wayfarer Design Awards-1

Honorable Mention for Pavilion at Intersect in the Commercial Buildings Category

Pavilion Design Awards 2019

Clay Aurell and others celebrate at the galaOther award winners include Honor Awards for KBZ Architects in the Commercial Building category, Anacapa Architecture in the Commercial Interiors, Residential Interiors and Small Projects categories, Bob Easton Architects in the Historic Preservation category, ACME Architecture in the Mixed-Use and Multi-Family Residential category, and RRM Design Group in the Santa Barbara Architectural Heritage category. Merit Awards were presented to Anacapa Architecture in the Commercial Buildings and Proposed/Unbuilt Projects categories, 19six Architects in the Historic Preservation and Santa Barbara Architectural Heritage categories, Archipelago Workshop in the Single Family Residential and Accessory Dwelling Units categories, Kupiec Architects in the Proposed/Unbuilt category and Fred L. Sweeney, AIA and Tom Jacobs, AIA in the Proposed/Unbuilt category. Finally, Honorable mentions were given to 19six Architects in the Historic Preservation and Santa Barbara Architectural Heritage categories, Kupiec Architects in the Commercial Interiors category, The Warner Group Architects in the Small projects category, DMHAA in the Commercial Buildings category and NMA Architects in the Single Family Residential category. Attendees enjoy dinner

The AIA Santa Barbara Design Awards program recognizes design excellence in architecture, residential architecture, restoration/renovation, and urban design. Criteria used by the jury include quality of design, resolution of the program idea, sustainable responsibility, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique.

We are thankful to this year's jurors Christopher Hawthorne, John Margolis AIA, and Margot McDonald for recognizing our work among an impressive collection of architecture and look forward to participating in next year's competition and celebration. 

Written by: Christen Amdahl

Photography by: Greg Christman, Jason Rick, Jim Bartsch, Stephen Whalen and Hunter McGrath



Selected Works


Selected Works


Selected Works