El Presidio de Santa Barbara

Heritage Masterplanning

This project involved developing a Vision which would enable multiple communities to tell their stories. Metaphor masterplanned this 18th-century Spanish colonial fort and devised a new interpretation strategy for the site. The walls of the fort are embedded in the historical heart of the city, and are only one layer in Santa Barbara’s complex history, which stretches from the time of the Chumash Indians, through periods of Spanish and Mexican occupation, to when the area became fist China and then Japan Town.

Metaphor extended the fort’s interpretation strategy out into the city, using pavements, floors, walls and gardens to tell this fascinating and layered history.

This project showed how successful masterplanning can be when it looks at everything, from the physical spaces, the Vision and Story, to issues of front and back of house, branding, logistics and operations.