Ovitz speaks at great length about how the house represents the fulfillment of a years-long process with the architect, and yet he dodges the question of what the house might mean for Maltzan. Instead, he offers his assessment of Maltzan’s career to date. Thus far, says Ovitz, he has upped his game with every job, and that a major reputation is now “his to lose.”
Maltzan’s next few years will certainly be busy. He’s designing a futuristic apartment for actor Vincent Gallo in downtown L.A. and an enormous house in Texas for art collectors David and Suzanne Booth—thus cementing his reputation as the go-to architect for rarefied art collectors in need of major square footage.
In order to reach the top rank of his profession, however, Maltzan will need to expand the scope and depth of his practice, suggests Betsky. And, indeed, during my various visits to his studio, Maltzan shows off maquettes for a range of public parks and mixed-use urban-renewal projects for a postindustrial site in New Orleans and an L.A. rail yard.
“Expectations can’t shrink,” says Maltzan as he sips a glass of lager over lunch at a bustling downtown café following our tour of the New Carver Apartments. “The stakes get higher with each successive project.”