In this excerpt from BACKSTAGE, learn more about brilliant architect Jeff Shelton, and his work on the Lobero’s courtyard tent.
Jeff Shelton has been called “Santa Barbara’s Architectural Wizard,” conjuring up whimsical buildings that evoke Spain’s famous Gaudi, and bring a fun artistic sensibility to downtown. He’s also the man who designed the Lobero’s Moorish-style tent that has been providing shelter for many a pre- or post-show gathering. Earlier this summer, the Lobero Theatre Foundation begun work with Mr. Shelton on a new summer tent intended to provide shade for the space when the sun is blazing.
Do you work with any other performing arts groups or venues in Santa Barbara?
The Lobero is the only one. I don’t have a lot of time to get into too many more things. Designing buildings, tiles, fabric, graphics and furnishings takes most of my time.
How did your partnership with the Lobero begin?
I think that I got a call from David Asbell. I’m sure he did his homework and knew that I couldn’t pass up working on a great building like the Lobero.
How was it for you to create something new to work with a historic building?
The Historic Landmarks Committee wanted to make sure the tent had a “Historic” reference, and in addition, they did not want the tent to be attached to the physical building. The tent is based on a North African/Southern Spain Moorish tent; also, we had to make the tent in a way that not only can it be removed, but also when it is, you shouldn’t find any trace of where it was. Dan Upton, the contractor, devised some clever detailing to make this happen…