Ever since he first visited Naoshima, the Japanese “art island” designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, Kanye West has been obsessed with the place. He’s been quoted describing the art as “life-changing” and once said he’d like to live inside a James Turrell sculpture, the sort of thing found on the island. And while that sort of lifestyle isn’t quite feasible, Kanye has done the second-best thing — he’s paid a whopping $57.3 million, in an off-market deal, for a Malibu residence that’s part house, part sculpture. The place is also one of only a handful of Ando-designed homes in the United States.
It doesn’t appear West has a mortgage on the property, which is certainly pricey but all in a proverbial day’s work for the music and fashion mogul. Forbes says he’s worth $1.8 billion, and with the current success of his “Donda” album and continued reign of the Yeezy apparel brand, it’s not hard to foresee that number continuing to swell.
And by some measures, Kanye got a deal. The nearly 4,000-square-foot house was initially offered at an outrageous $75 million last year, before being removed from the market. But the discounted sale price is also the second-highest number paid for a Malibu home this year, behind only an $87 million transaction that recorded in February.
Sold by retired Wall Street financier Richard Sachs, best known as the ex-boyfriend of Ashley Olson, the Malibu property last transferred for just $1.9 million in 2003. Beginning in the mid-aughts, Sachs spent millions, and seven years of planning and construction, to build a hulking three-story house that more closely resembles a military-grade bunker than it does an ordinary home. The structure reportedly required 1,200 tons of poured concrete, 200 tons of steel reinforcement and 12 pylons driven 60 feet into the ground, supporting the monstrously heavy house from sinking into the sand.
The lot itself is quite compact and sits cheek-to-jowl between two other homes, spanning under 5,700 square feet and stretching from the road to the beach. Out front, the two-lane street is often trafficked by local surfers and other beachgoers, who enjoy the relatively wide public beach and the good waves in this particular neighborhood pocket. The vaguely Brutalist-inspired house itself has no yard and nary a single plant, so West will save money on landscaping bills.
Each of the home’s three levels has a distinct purpose. The lowest floor holds three ensuite guest bedrooms, while the middling level houses the public areas — the living room, kitchen and powder room. The top floor is exclusively reserved for the owner, with its penthouse-level bedroom suite and rooftop oceanside terrace overlooking the crashing waves far below. Photos of the interiors don’t appear to exist online, but the decor been described as minimalist “yet warm,” by Marmol Radziner, the L.A.-based architecture firm that built the house in collaboration with Ando.
And for easy commuting, the house is only about 30 minutes by car — via twisting mountain roads — to the massive Hidden Hills compound built by West and estranged wife Kim Kardashian, a property that remains occupied by Kardashian and the couple’s children.
Kanye has owned numerous homes across the country, but in addition to the Hidden Hills and Malibu properties, his current portfolio includes a vast ranch in a semi-remote pocket of Wyoming, a Brutalist-inspired condo in Calabasas and two minimalist condos in a brick New York City building. He’s also got more than 300 acres of vacant hillside land on the Calabasas outskirts, where he once attempted to build a mysterious “village” of dome-like homes.