David Montalba

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David Montalba
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Florence, Italy
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles (2000)
  • 2008 AIA National Young Architect Award
  • 2012 ENR California Top 20 Under 40
  • 2012 Building Design + Construction 40 Under 40
  • 2016 AIA Fellowship
PracticeFounding principal in Montalba Architects, Inc.

David Montalba, FAIA, SIA, LEED AP (born 1972 in Florence, Italy) is a Swiss-American architect based in Santa Monica, California. He is the founding principal of Montalba Architects, established in 2004.[1]

Early life and education

Montalba was born in Florence, Italy and raised in both Lausanne, Switzerland and Carmel and San Diego, California.[2] He attend Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture in 1996[3] and completed his Master of Architecture at UCLA in 2000.[1]


Upon graduating from UCLA, he started his career with Fehlman Labarre Architects and has worked with design driven practices in Los Angeles including Frank Gehry,[4] Rios Associates, and Pugh Scarpa,[2] before establishing Santa Monica-based Montalba Architects, Inc. in 2004.[5][1] He is also an adjunct professor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture.[6]

He has served as a Board Member and Treasurer of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects and an advisor to the AIA’s Academic Outreach and 2x8 Exhibition Committees.[7][8][9] David has also served as a Board Member of the A+D Museum in Los Angeles and a registered member of NCARB.[6]

Awards and recognition

Montalba has received 30 awards from the notable American Institute of Architect (AIA) including the 2008 National Young Architect Award,[1] Institute Honor Award in 2011 and 2019,[10] 2013 AIA LA Presidential Honor Award for Building Team of the Year[6][11] and in 2016, he was elevated to the College of the Fellows of the AIA.[12] He was named one of the Top 20 Under 40 winners by ENR California in 2012[13] and listed as one of the 40 Under 40 architects by Building Design + Construction in 2012.[6] In 2020, AN Interior named him one of the Top 50 Architects of the year.[14]

Selected projects


  • SOHO House - Malibu, California[15]
  • Nobu Hotel Palo Alto - Palo Alto, California[2]
  • Whitepod, Zen Suite – Monthey, Switzerland[2]
  • Whitepod Suites-Chalets – Monthey, Switzerland[16]
  • Nobu Ryokan - Malibu, California[17]
  • Nobu Malibu - Malibu, California[18]
  • Equinox Group - Vancouver, British Columbia[19]
  • Equinox, Huntington Beach – Huntington Beach, California


  • Headspace (company) SM Campus - Santa Monica, California[20]
  • Sony Music Headquarters – Beverly Hills, California[21]
  • Tom Bradley International Terminal – LA Airport - Los Angeles, California[1]


  • The Row (fashion label) – West Hollywood, California[22]
  • Monique Lhuillier – New York City, New York[23]
  • Carolina Herrera – Beverly Hills, California[24]
  • Gabriele Colangelo – Beijing, China[25]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Lecomte, Christian (21 January 2019). "David Montalba, l'architecte suisso-californien qui sculpte la lumière". Le Temps (in français).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Editor (July 15, 2020). "Meet the Minds: Architect David Montalba". Hospitality Design.
  3. News. "SCI-Arc Alumni and Faculty Receive 2019 AIA LA Residential Architecture Awards - SCI-Arc". www.sciarc.edu. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  4. Dixon, Carole (25 June 2020). "US architect David Montalba invites us into his family home in Los Angeles". Wallpaper* magazine.
  5. Nielsen, Duncan (March 26, 2020). "Architects Explain How the COVID-19 Pandemic Will Change Our Homes Forever". Dwell.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Gregorski, Tim (April 25, 2012). "40 Under 40, the Class of 2012". Building Design + Construction.
  7. "David Montalba interview". www.aialaarchive.org.
  8. "Board Member - David Montalba" (PDF). ARC CA.
  9. "2x8 Winners 2012". AIA Los Angeles.
  10. James, Peter (January 12, 2011). "AIA Announces 2011 Institute Honor Awards". Architect Magazine.
  11. "Awards details". LAWA.org.
  12. "AIA elevates 149 members and eight international architects to the College of Fellows - AIA". www.aia.org. February 11, 2016.
  13. Staff (January 4, 2012). "ENR California Names Winners of 2012 Top 20 Under 40 Competition". ENR magazine.
  14. The Editors. "Winner details - David Montalba" (Fall 2020 issue). AN Interior magazine.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  15. "Style Guide - David Montalba". Citizens of Humanity.
  16. Wang, Lucy (September 28, 2020). "Whitepod Hotel Eco-Chalets by Montalba Architects". Dwell magazine.
  17. Wu, Daven (27 April 2017). "Nobu Ryokan — Malibu, USA". Wallpaper* magazine.
  18. Morgan, Mallery Roberts (January 22, 2016). "9 Los Angeles Restaurants with Delightful Designs". Architectural Digest.
  19. McKnight, Jenna (27 July 2019). "Montalba Architects pairs earthy materials with concrete and metal in Vancouver's Equinox gym". Dezeen.com.
  20. Golenda, Gabrielle (24 July 2020). "Montalba Architects transforms industrial offices into a luminous tech startup campus". The Architect’s Newspaper.
  21. Foussianes, Chloe. "David Montalba - Inside Hotels". www.insidehotels.com.
  22. Jones, Laura. "Open Air". Modern Luxury magazine.
  23. Edelson, Sharon (23 October 2019). "Monique Lhuillier Flagship Opens on Madison Avenue". Women's Wear Daily. Text "WWD " ignored (help)
  24. Medina, Marcy (12 May 2016). "Carolina Herrera Opens Rodeo Drive Boutique". Women's Wear Daily. Text "WWD " ignored (help)
  25. "Discover The True Self, The First Store Of Italian Talented Designer Brand Gabriele Colangelo Opened In The World". Elle (magazine) (in 中文). 4 August 2020. Text "Elle " ignored (help)

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