Book by Montalba Architects, ‘Place and Space’


Montalba Architects’ monograph questions space, place and building

Montalba Architects launches an extensive monograph, “Place and Space”

For nearly 20 years, California-based architectural firm Montalba Architects has built a portfolio of discerning clients through its clean, thoughtful approach to building and space. Founded by Swiss-American architect David Montalba and based in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, the firm is probably best known for designing the Nobu Ryokan boutiques in Malibu, The Row and Isabel Marant in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, as well as the Vertical Courtyard House in Santa Monica, completed in 2020, which has been hailed with accolades.

With offices in Lausanne and Los Angeles, the international company has developed a distinctive design style with universal appeal. His accomplishments have now been chronicled in a concept tome, titled “Place and Space” and published by Artifice Press, which explores the duality of corporate magnetism. Combining the radical experimentation that arose in California in the 1970s and 1980s with the calm precision of Swiss practice, Montalba’s motto of repeatedly paring things down and reducing stylistic elements to their fundamental essence is a thread inspiring driver through all the company’s projects.

The book is also enjoyable to look at. Filled with drawings, floor plans and enviable photographs by Kevin Scott, Dominique Verillon and Delphine Burtin, the book positions each of the company’s projects against its philosophies. Some of the fundamental values ​​and themes, which are reflected in the chapters of the book, include material integrity, volumetric landscapes, transitional space and pure spatial volumes. It opens with a foreword by architect Larry Scarpa, Montalba’s mentor, and also features in-depth conversations with fellow creators such as director Zack Snyder, landscape architect Andrea Cochran, contractors David Allemann and Rich Pierson, as well as artist Andy Denzler. , each of which examines the different ways the studio approaches design.

In the words of our own Jonathan Bell, who wrote the book’s extensive introductory essay, “Montalba Architects strives to make a more explicit connection between function and space, using architecture as a framework which improves both the experience and the qualities of the site”. . The projects in this book treat matter and light as equal partners, using the visual language of modernism and a philosophy that values ​​craftsmanship and collaboration as much as aesthetics and poetry. §


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