Eric Owen Moss introduces Michael Maltzan, describing his appearance in Los Angeles “mid-revolution.” Moss asserts that Maltzan, rather than allowing the revolution to disappear or to become doctrine, has “amended the lessons” and “sustained the revolt.”
Maltzan begins his lecture by presenting three residential projects in process and describes his approach to residential work as “microcosms or distillations of larger and more complex social organizations.” He explains the role of view and plays with traditional lot usage in a house on Broad Beach in Malibu. He investigates a geometric and social inversion of the modernist blur between interior and exterior in the Pittman Dowell Residence. Lastly, he explores geometric inversion as a sectional problem while employing skin effects that animate rectilinear geometry.
Maltzan continues his lecture with a discussion of work conducted outside of Los Angeles. He presents a pavillion-bookstore designed for a park in Jinhua, China as an invited component of a conceptual master plan by Ai Weiwei. He continues with a description of a competition entry for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, a project which he attributes to a shift in his work from organization based on predetermined narrative toward that of an elastically connected open network. This interest continues in a master planning project in Milan which proposed a campus of buildings that engaged the edge of the primary site in response to difficult political realities emanating from the site itself.
Maltzan concludes with two projects which, in addition to strong urban engagement, address social interaction and environmental intent through negotiations of structure and geometry. For an Art and Science Museum in Fresno, Maltzan creates a social overlap with the city by floating the building to generate a shaded public plaza and exposing the building’s underbelly while establishing seamed openings both through and into the building. Lastly, for Pirelli in Milan, he creates a mid-height bridged connection between two office buildings, both allowing for flexibility in use and tenancy within the two structures and generating new social connections through the use of an open bat-wing truss.