Drift Hotel

Santa Barbara, California

Project Stats

Located along State Street in Santa Barbara, the Drift Hotel is boutique downtown destination that is breathing new life into a 100-year-old building. An example of successful urban renewal, this adaptive reuse project presented a number of challenges to both the structural and civil teams in the AV Santa Barbara Office. These teams were tasked with a complete unreinforced masonry retrofit and designing a concrete structure compliant with modern codes and safety standards as well as matching Santa Barbara’s specialized storm water requirements.

Structural Engineering Highlights

From a structural engineering perspective, this tall and skinny retrofit required multiple rounds of structural analysis to understand the exact weight of the existing structure. A three-story brace frame was added to the middle of the building to support the new sections of the building. To remedy the original sandstone boulder foundation, the boulders were cut flush with the interior walls and new concrete walls were poured down into board forms.

Civil Engineering Highlights

The new norm for redevelopment of urban, zero lot line parcels within Santa Barbara, this is one of the first projects completed in the City where the stormwater management requirement for infiltration has chambers within a totally enclosed portion of the building. Utilizing underground stormwater retention chambers, the on-site system is designed to capture stormwater from all impervious surfaces, collect it to a centralized location, and infiltrate it back into the ground. This system is capable of handling 1-inch storm events.


Architect: Anacapa Architecture