id library: Place and Space: Montalba Architects by Jonathan Bell

The conceptual book showcases the innovative work of the international firm and its architectural brilliance

place and spacePlace and Space: Montalba Architects by Jonathan Bell

Artifice Press published book – Place and Space: Montalba Architects is a conceptual book, showcasing the innovative work of the international firm. The book by Jonathan Bell, marks the firm’s first comprehensive exploration of its nearly two-decade-long journey, blending California’s openness with Swiss precision in architectural design.

Jonathan Bell is a prolific writer and the author/ co-author, and editor of 10 books, including – The 21st Century House, The New Modern House: Redefining Functionalism, The Contemporary House and Todd Saunders: Architecture in Northern Landscapes.

Place and Space
Place and Space: Montalba Architects by Jonathan Bell

Based in Santa Monica, California, Montalba Architects boasts over 26 years of professional practice and a team of more than 60 designers across two offices in Los Angeles and Lausanne, Switzerland. With award-winning projects worldwide, including collaborations with Nobu and innovative residential designs, the firm continues to push the boundaries of architectural excellence.

Founded by Swiss-American architect David Montalba in 2004, Montalba Architects has garnered acclaim for its diverse portfolio, spanning residential, commercial, hospitality, and institutional projects. Place and Space provides a captivating glimpse into the firm’s hero projects, while following Montalba’s strict motto of “paring down” by reducing stylistic elements to their fundamental essence.

Place and Space
Sculptured light refracting through trellis onto residential facade

The book, with a foreword by renowned architect and Montalba’s mentor – Larry Scarpa and an introductory essay by design journalist Jonathan Bell, Place and Space includes features in-depth conversations with notable figures. These include film director Zack Snyder, entrepreneurs David Allemann and Rich Pierson, landscape designer Andrea Cochran, and artist Andy Denzler. Through these dialogues, readers gain insight into Montalba Architects’ unique approach to design and its impact on various industries.

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. 

Place and Space promises to be a captivating journey into the heart of Montalba Architects’ visionary creations, offering readers a deeper appreciation for the intersection of art, design, and human experience in architectural innovation.

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