Campus Store & Café Modernization

The Santa Barbara City College Campus Store Modernization refreshes the existing bookstore facility, introduces expanded services, and updates the campus aesthetic. The introduction of a café and elevated deck create a unique assembly and social space for students, faculty and staff. The deck highlights great ocean views and the temperate Santa Barbara environment.

The store’s idyllic location on top of an ocean bluff provided the ABA design team an opportunity to revision the store as a central hub of collegiate activity. ABA worked with DSA to gain project approval and to correct structural and fire-rating deficiencies discovered during construction.

An early feasibility study conducted with the client identified key challenges and opportunities for the project, including:

  • Inadequate wayfinding and signage
  • Ineffective back-of-house circulation
  • Significant product loss, shrinkage
  • Inflexibility between peak and off-peak sale periods
  • Limited campus gathering spaces on campus

These issues, and a general need to stay relevant in spite of a decreasing need and demand for students to have physical books, was the launching point for this significant Santa Barbara City College project.

ABA worked with the Campus Development Director and the Campus Store Operations Director early in the needs-analysis phase to identify enhancements to the bookstore’s function and services; ultimately re-branding the retail facility as the Campus Store.

The existing building’s distinctive form is highlighted with streamlined interiors and tactical feature elements. Responding to the Campus Store’s changing role, creating spaces with flexible use was a key driver for the design team. Improved product zoning and unique feature elements were used to orient patrons in the space; while color, materiality, and lighting were used to clarify circulation paths. Retail space can be easily reconfigured, accommodating short term adaptations for peak- and off-peak seasons, as well as future adaptations to respond/adapt to the ever-evolving role of the Campus Store.

Contractor: Newton Construction + Management

Santa Barbara City College
18,373 GSF
Higher Education
Bernard André
What Our Clients Have to Say:

"They [ABA] were truly invested in our success and always guided us to consider the educational success of our diverse student body on our three campuses. Their ability to take complex issues and break them down into clear and concise documents, and guide stakeholder involvement in a meaningful and positive way, was both unique and unparalleled in my experience. ABA is a talented design firm, technically excellent, and has relationships with key DSA leaders t ... Beyond this, they are simply fun to work with.”

Ms. Julie Hendricks Fahnestock, AIA
Former Senior Director Facilities, Planning & Campus Development
Santa Barbara City College