About Howard Wittausch

“I love being an architect. There are no dull moments; no two days alike. I am able use all of the various abilities that I have to offer —design sense, engineering skills, knowledge of building materials, and environmental sensibilities —and apply them to a wide variety of projects. My greatest satisfaction lies in seeing the joy and excitement that comes from helping my clients realize their dreams.”
— Howard Wittausch

From an early age, Howard Wittausch loved to draw and was good at math.  His father thought he should do something practical, so he majored in engineering at Stanford University on a Navy scholarship.  There, his drawing ability led him to architecture and he transferred to the UC Berkeley School of Architecture where he received his degree.

Before entering private practice, Howard owed the Navy three years, time he served with the U.S. Navy Civil Engineering Corps, in construction overseas and Public Works stateside.  Upon completing his active duty, he pursued professional registration through a diverse apprenticeship which included work with the County of Santa Barbara as a Plan Check Engineer.  Soon after becoming licensed as both an engineer and an architect, he opened his own firm.

In the intervening years, Howard’s portfolio has grown to include a variety of projects from free-spirited modern custom residences to historic renovations, from affordable housing to skilled nursing facilities, from residential remodels and additions to commercial mixed-use projects and industrial facilities.  Howard says: “In an age of specialization, I think of myself as a generalist.  Versatility is my hallmark.”

“I am equally ‘at home’ working in traditional styles as with ultra-modern and I approach each Design without preconceptions.  Rather than seek a signature look, I search for a unique solution which specifically reflect my client’s preferences, not mine.  My job is to provide good options and to help each client choose the best option.”

Howard prefers to work directly with his clients rather than to delegate, greatly facilitating communication, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.  This also means clients benefit from his personal attention from the first courtesy visit to the final project closeout.  His unique technical background and expertise in different types of construction enable him to coordinate more effectively with other engineering consultants to keep those costs down.  By serving on design review boards—he is currently vice-chair of the Santa Barbara County Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission—and having long-term experience with government agencies, this Santa Barbara architect knows how to vet designs before they go through the approval process rather than after, again saving time and cost.   In support of his commitment to sustainability, Howard is in the process of becoming LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified.

When he’s not in the field or at the drafting table (computer), Howard enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, music, ping-pong, community service, and traveling with his wife Susan.