Avant-garde architect Ed Niles has designed many a wild-looking home, but the Milton Sidley house in Malibu is probably one of his most adventurous creations. Widely published and sometimes described as resembling the International Space Station, the bulbous structure is hewn almost entirely from glass and steel, and is about as un-generic a house as you’re liable to find in greater Los Angeles.
The “house” is actually two separate structures connected by a skybridge hovering over the property’s driveway. One structure is a semicircle — from some angles it appears to be a half-buried extraterrestrial wheel — that holds the living room, a decidedly postmodern kitchen, and an underground garage. The other structure is longer and leaner, and consists of a spine-like central hallway, with little pod-like rooms jutting off to either side.
Glass is everywhere and there are reportedly no window coverings, so non-exhibitionists should take heed. Luckily, the property is located on a private road in the hills above Malibu’s Pacific Coast Highway, hidden behind a very long driveway.
As its name suggests, the Milton Sidley house was built for real estate investor Milton Sidley and his wife, who were apparently big fans of modern architecture — the couple also owned a John Lautner-designed home in Aspen. Work on the Malibu project began in the late ’80s, though the atypical construction caused big delays and the house wasn’t actually completed until 1992. But the Sidleys apparently still loved the place, and they continued living there until Milton’s 2019 death. His family subsequently elected to sell the two-acre property, which sports ocean views through a forest of mature trees.
The house first hit the market in February, asking $20 million, though its decidedly bespoke appearance meant the buyer pool was quite small. The price quickly plummeted to $13.5 million before the discount-minded buyer ultimately scored the house at more than 50% off the original ask — paying “just” $9.5 million.
Records reveal the new owner is Paul Schneider, he the heavily bearded cofounder of Chemical Guys, an Inglewood, Calif.-based brand that has become wildly popular with car-care buffs in recent years. Schneider is also cofounder of the Detail Garage chain, which has dozens of locations across several states and retails Chemical Guys products.
Though it totals only about 4,400 square feet, the imposing architecture on Schneider’s new home makes it appear far larger — or larger-than-life, really. There are four bedrooms and four bathrooms, plus a gym and a den, so it’s definitely livable, though the ISS lookalike remains more of a residential artwork than a traditional house.