Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental II Wins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture



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Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental II Wins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture 

San Francisco, United States

Montalba Architects

The transformative reimaging of a San Francisco dental office is one of only nine projects around the world to capture the coveted award.


Los Angeles, United States, 2019-02-26 –

Montalba Architects, an award-winning firm widely-recognized for its embrace of humanistic architecture that is at once personal, culturally reflective and visionary in its response to both context and light, is pleased to announce it has received a 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture for Studio Dental II, a transformative re-imagining of a San Francisco dental office in the city’s Tenderloin district.

Bestowed on just nine projects around the world, the highly coveted award is one of the industry’s highest honors. In winning the award, Montalba Architects founded by David Montalba, FAIA, in 2004 joins an elite group of architectural practices, such as Bjarke Ingels Group, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Gensler, among others. This year’s jury, Candid Rogers, FAIA, of Candid Rogers Architect, Cornell Anderson, AIA, of Fieldwork Design & Architecture, Caitlin Daley, AIA, of Buell Kratzer Powell, William T. Eberhard, AIA, of Eberhard Architects, and Peter MacKeith, Assoc. AIA, of the University of Arkansas, Fay Jones School of Architecture, believe the project is a “testament to how our profession continues to elevate our commitment to excellence in design.”

An ideal fusion of historic preservation, architecture and light
Located within a historic building in San Francisco’s rapidly developing Tenderloin neighborhood, Studio Dental is defined by a modern aesthetic that honors the historic elements of the building it calls home. A conceptual ‘lantern’ within the building’s core communicates a volumetric sense of scale, luminescence, and transparency to serve as the framework for a series of functional moves inside. The lantern wall panels illuminate the interior and are visually expanded through strategically positioned mirrors that glow through the glazed facade to illuminate the sidewalk beyond. By engaging the pedestrian street front, the design aims to project openness, warmth, and serenity. Furthermore by reflecting the client’s progressive practice, the design plays an active role in the revitalization of one of the city’s more troubled neighborhoods.

Function meets transparency
In lieu of a waiting room, a park-like bench runs the length of the interior while wood trellises separate the bench and procedure rooms without closing off the space. Distinct moments of material contrast are experienced in the rough shell walls, smoked mirror panels, and a stand of maple monoliths that offer storage and indicate the entry to each patient room.

Important to the AIA jury was the fact that the team carefully preserved many of the building’s original elements, including the storefront, where original glazing proportions were restored, and the original marble bulkheads. The interior mezzanine was repurposed for additional storage and staff offices.

For Montalba Architects, the hope is that this project will play an active role in the ongoing revitalization of the Tenderloin—a neighborhood once home to a thriving music scene before it fell on tough times. David Montalba, FAIA, says “the project celebrates and energizes the Tenderloin’s existing urban fabric and symbolizes our commitment to creating architecture that projects openness and warmth, while responding authentically to its environment.”

For Studio Dental co-founder Dr. Sara Creighton, who has commissioned Montalba Architects to design each of the practice’s locations, including its 230-square-foot, yacht-inspired mobile office, which brings dental services directly to its patients and provides free care throughout San Francisco, “Montalba Architects’ deep understanding of our desire to create an innovative practice was realized in every aspect of the design.” 

PROJECT TEAM
Architect: Montalba Architects, Inc. 
Builder: Build Group 
Structural: Julia Y. Chen Design Inc 
Lighting Designer: Sean O’Connor Lighting 
M/E/P: ACIES Engineering

ABOUT MONTALBA ARCHITECTS (www.montalbaarchitects.com; Instagram @montalba_architects)
Montalba Architects is an award-winning practice recognized for its embrace of humanistic architecture that is at once personal, culturally reflective and visionary. With offices in Los Angeles, California and Lausanne, Switzerland, the firm produces select architecture and design projects that emphasize conceptual experiences by creating environments that are both socially responsive and aesthetically progressive. With an approach deeply committed to embracing everything from client need to site considerations, the firm designs with an eye toward unique cultural and economic environments to create solutions that are always contextual and conceptual in their intent, effect and appeal.

High-resolution images, and/or interviews with David Montalba, FAIA, are available upon request.


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Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - Strategically placed smoke mirrors are used to extend sight lines and reflect natural light. - Photo credit:  Kevin Scott

Strategically placed smoke mirrors are used to extend sight lines and reflect natural light.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - The architects hope that the project plays an active role in the ongoing revitalization of San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.&nbsp;<br> - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

The architects hope that the project plays an active role in the ongoing revitalization of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - The 'lantern' concept creates a transcendent environment that feels gallery-like and serene.&nbsp; - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

The ‘lantern’ concept creates a transcendent environment that feels gallery-like and serene.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture -  The wood fins of the lantern provide privacy for patients while also illuminating the dark interior space. - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

The architects hope that the project plays an active role in the ongoing revitalization of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - The lantern concept both contains and expands the sense of the space's scale, while enveloping the working dental spaces within it.&nbsp; - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

The lantern concept both contains and expands the sense of the space’s scale, while enveloping the working dental spaces within it.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - The patient bench and trellis offer both a sense of calm and privacy.&nbsp; - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

The patient bench and trellis offer both a sense of calm and privacy.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - In place of a common waiting room, a park-like bench extends the length of the space. - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

In place of a common waiting room, a park-like bench extends the length of the space.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - Due to the ceiling height, the monolithic hallway between patient rooms communicates a dramatic sense of scale despite the space's small footprint. - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

Due to the ceiling height, the monolithic hallway between patient rooms communicates a dramatic sense of scale despite the space’s small footprint.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - A central colonnade of maple monoliths serves as functional storage and defines the entry to each private patient room. - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

A central colonnade of maple monoliths serves as functional storage and defines the entry to each private patient room.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - Located in a historic building, the project carefully preserves various original elements, including the original marble bulkheads. - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

Located in a historic building, the project carefully preserves various original elements, including the original marble bulkheads.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - Wood trellises provide separation between the bench and dental rooms without closing off the space. - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

Wood trellises provide separation between the bench and dental rooms without closing off the space.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - Monitors are provided overhead for patient viewing and draws views to the folded wood trellis.&nbsp; - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

Monitors are provided overhead for patient viewing and draws views to the folded wood trellis.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - Detail of the patient benches and wooden trellis system.&nbsp; - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

Detail of the patient benches and wooden trellis system.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - <br> The 1,400 square foot dental office projects a gallery-like environment from the street due to the conceptual 'lantern' that offers a sense of scale, luminescent and transparency. &nbsp;<br> - Photo credit: Kevin Scott


The 1,400 square foot dental office projects a gallery-like environment from the street due to the conceptual ‘lantern’ that offers a sense of scale, luminescent and transparency.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - Studio Dental is defined by a modern aesthetic, while honoring the historic elements of the base building.&nbsp;The architects restored the original storefront, including the original glazing proportions, thoughtfully.&nbsp; - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

Studio Dental is defined by a modern aesthetic, while honoring the historic elements of the base building. The architects restored the original storefront, including the original glazing proportions, thoughtfully.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - From the street, the symbolic aim of the design is to project openness, warmth, and serenity. - Photo credit: Kevin Scott

From the street, the symbolic aim of the design is to project openness, warmth, and serenity.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott

Press kit | 2757-08 - Press release | Montalba Architects’ Studio Dental IIWins 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture - Montalba Architects - Commercial Architecture - The lantern wall panels glow through the storefront to brighten the street. - Photo credit: Kevin Scott<br>

The lantern wall panels glow through the storefront to brighten the street.

Photo credit:
Kevin Scott



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