DAVID MONTALBA'S RESIDENCE | Montalba Architects
Santa Monica, United States
Photo credit: Kevin Scott
Photo credits: Kevin Scott
The new home increases in size and maintains scale by going vertical to seamlessly blend in with neighboring historic and eclectic homes
Montalba Architects completed construction on Founding Principal David Montalba’s personal residence thoughtfully designed around a vertical courtyard concept. The 5,450 square-foot, three-story home seamlessly merges the indoors and outdoors while vertically expanding to create a coexisting structure with the surrounding neighborhood.
The project combines two initial design concepts: an enclosed courtyard sliced by circulation and landscape, and two volumes comprised of horizontal planes and landscaped balconies divided by lush landscaping and sutured with a connective bridge. The resulting form is an L-shaped plan centered around the vertical courtyard that locks into the site and isolates high-traffic areas to the first floor while the floating ‘box’ second floor hovers in place above the poured concrete footing and ground-level living quarters.
The home centers around the vertical courtyard that connects all three levels of the home, along with adjacent terraced gardens, to create moments of simplicity and poetry within the residence. The three-story courtyard feeds light through each of the floors, including the basement, while providing inward privacy and sightlines to the backyard. A series of movable screens further blur the edges between indoor and outdoor space and help articulate a minimal façade while the concrete base on the lower levels acts as the anchor from which these elements all come together.
The design strength of the home is found in the subtle layering of spaces, landscapes, and concepts. To create privacy, the louvered screens, glazing, and concrete create an abstract yet consistent separation between the neighborhood and the residence. From here, these elements begin to shift or disappear altogether, allowing for a hierarchy of security, exposure, and circulation that creates a dynamic, varied experience within the plan.