Place and Space / Jonathan Bell

The book examines the Los Angeles and Lausanne-based firm’s extensive body of work to date for the first time, through their integrated blend of California openness and Swiss rigor.

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Artifice Press announces the forthcoming release of Place and Space, a conceptual book showcasing international firm Montalba Architects’ scale and breadth of work since its foundation almost two decades ago. Place and Space explores the duality of Montalba’s approach to design, which combines the radical experimentation of 1970s and 1980s California – from the historic volte-face of post-modernism to the controlled architectural chaos of Deconstructivism – with the calm precision of Swiss practice.

Founded in 2004 by Swiss-American architect, David Montalba, the book showcases many of the firm’s hero projects ranging from residential to commercial, hospitality, institutional, and retail, while following Montalba’s strict motto of “paring down” by reducing stylistic elements to their fundamental essence.

Featuring a foreword by revered architect and Montalba’s mentor, Larry Scarpa, alongside an expansive introductory essay by design and architecture journalist, Jonathan Bell, Place and Space includes in-depth conversations with notable creatives and thought leaders, including film director Zack Snyder, entrepreneurs David Allemann and Rich Pierson, landscape designer Andrea Cochran, and artist Andy Denzler, that cross-examine different approaches to design through the unique values of the studio. It explores some of the firm’s signature projects, as well as Montalba’s background, influences, and architectural philosophies. Attracted to the duality of Montalba’s modernist approach and the quality and breadth of their work, Artifice Press saw an exciting opportunity to bring to life the story of a singular practice taking on solution-based projects that are grounded in enduring design principles.

Through the incorporation of drawings, floorplans, and finished photography by photographers including Kevin Scott, Dominique Vorillon, and Delphine Burtin, each project’s story is presented in relation to the firm’s philosophies. These design values include Sculpted Light, Material Integrity, Volumetric Landscapes, Transitional Space, and Pure Spatial Volumes. Each value is further supported by interspersed, thought-provoking conversations.

“Collaborating on this book was such a privilege and positive experience for our team. We often think that creating a book employs similar components to that of creating a building: structure, research of materials, sequencing, rhythm, and balance. We believe Place and Space in its physical form truly reflects the style, design aesthetic, and craftsmanship of Montalba Architects.” – Anna Danby, Publishing Director, Artifice Press

“Montalba Architects produces both impactful and aesthetically progressive places. It is Artifice Press’ pleasure to contribute to a project that emphasizes the importance of experience in architecture.” – Anton Jacques, Art Director

“Although Montalba Architects belong to the long-running tradition of American modernism, the studio’s work has a far more European influence than that of many of its peers. David Montalba’s own journey and influences make themselves known in these meticulously designed projects, encompassing homes, stores, and places of work.” – Jonathan Bell, a long-standing contributor to Wallpaper and author featured in the book.

Based in Santa Monica, California, David Montalba’s history includes over 26 years of professional practice with architectural firms in the United States and Europe before founding his eponymous studio in 2004. As told throughout the pages of Place and Space, Montalba Architects has since firmly established itself as a leading international firm, supported by a team of architects, designers, and professionals across two offices in Los Angeles, California, and Lausanne, Switzerland. Their award-winning projects span residential, retail, commercial, hospitality, and urban design on a global scale, including their longstanding partnership with Nobu, the multi-award-winning Santa Monica Headquarters for Headspace, The Row’s iconic retail flagship on Melrose Place, and innovative residential projects like 2020’s Vertical Courtyard House, which recently won an AIA Residential Design Award.

Place and Space will be released on October 25, 2022, and is currently available for preorder from Artifice and Amazon. It will also be available at select retail locations in the US and Europe.

Technical sheet

Title: Place and Space
Author: Jonathan Bell
Year: 2022
Binding: Smythe-Sewn
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Pages: 240
Design: Rachel Pfleger
Photography: Kevin Scott, Dominique Vorillon, Delphine Burtin, plus a handful of others.

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