Montalaba Architects, Inc. - Raquel Allegra
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Raquel Allegra

Montalaba Architects, Inc.

Retail  /  Completed
Montalaba Architects, Inc.
Much like the clothing itself, the designer’s first boutique is a mix of luxury and comfort, familiarity and exclusivity, detailing and experience. This juxtaposition of seemingly contrasting ideas created the framework for the design approach, materiality and configuration.
By preserving elements of the existing space, a balance is achieved between new and old, rough and refined. The long, narrow footprint is naturally lit through the north facade and two central skylight features on opposite ends of the space. By organizing merchandise along the east and west walls and suspending the solid brass fixture racks from the ceiling, a clean, open floor plan is maximized both visually and programmatically. Polished concrete floors and rough stucco walls encase the refined metal fixtures and glass dressing rooms.

A louvered wooden ceiling sits just below the roofline, mimicking the existing structural elements while concealing necessary conduit and electrical wiring. A custom steel window and door at the entryway ensure a continuous design vernacular and serve to position the brand from street-level. To round out the palette, the designer herself has curated a selection of vintage and found furnishings throughout.

The primary sustainable intent for this retail store was to uncover and preserve much of the existing infrastructure including the concrete slab and roof structure. Materials on site were re-used as much as possible to not only reduce excess materials, but to also underscore the main design concept of creating balance between new and old. The other primary goal was to introduce natural light into the previously dark interiors. A large storefront opening allows maximum daylight and reduces excessive heat gain. New skylights were added and sculpted to direct light into the space. The walls and ceilings were newly insulated to increase the envelops energy performance.

The retailer’s clothes are crafted to gracefully flow with movement, a concept the design of the space also embraces. Custom brass fixtures line the East and West walls, keeping the main retail gallery open, allowing patrons to effortlessly move throughout the space.


 Los Angeles
 California, United States
 Raquel Allegra
 130 mq
 Montalba Architects
 Montalba Architects
 Sarlan Builders
 Structural Engineer - The Office of Gordon Polon
 Dominique Vorillon, Lisa Romerein


By embracing a humanistic approach that considers not only a client’s needs and site considerations, but also the cultural and economic environment, solutions are realized that are contextual, yet conceptual and visionary in their intent, effect, and appeal.

Projects emphasize conceptual experience by creating environments that are both socially responsive and aesthetically progressive. The forces of volumetric landscapes, material integrity, and the sculpting of natural light, as well as the purity of spatial volumes, create solutions to pragmatic requirements of the client, constructability, and context.


#Mentioned #Los Angeles  #Concrete  #Plaster  #Wood  #Commercial - Retail  #Bronze  #California, USA  #Montalaba Architects, Inc. 

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