Starchitect Koenig’s final project hits market for $25M

Contemporary Malibu house has eco features, sweeping Pacific Ocean views


The last project from renowned architect Pierre Koenig is back on the market, now with an asking price just shy of $25 million.

And it’s a stunner: The property has both a decidedly modernist look — with a glass and steel exterior, large indoor-outdoor spaces and neat geometric patterns — and a location, tucked into the Malibu cliffs, that seem fit for a James Bond movie.

“The position of the home is super rare, and these lower level bluff homes are kind of in crazy demand,” said Sean Landon, a broker with Douglas Elliman who has the listing. “They went all out in constructing a great property with amazing views and a great beach.”

A sale at anything near the $25 million ask would amount to a massive payoff for the current owner, the real estate developer Jeffrey Fish.

Fish — a principal of the downtown firm JMF Development, known for reviving the historic Pershing Square building — bought the beachside house in early 2018 for $8.75 million, according to records. He listed the home last February for $20 million, then took it off the market a few months later.

The new $25 million tag, Landon said, reflects both the red hot pandemic-era luxury market and a burgeoning demand for starchitect-designed homes. Landon pointed to Kanye West’s recent $57 million spend on a minimalist Malibu beach home designed by Tadao Ando, the Pritzker-winning Japanese architect.

The Koenig-designed home, the broker said, has already attracted the interest of a few high-net worth potential buyers, including from the tech industry.

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“Based on the feedback already, I think someone will come in and pay over what is perceived to be fair market value,” he said.

Part of the home’s appeal, of course, comes from the tie to Koenig himself, who ranks among the 20th-century’s most influential architects. Koenig, a California native, had a decades-long career but was known for designing the Stahl House, or Case Study House #22, which was one of his first works.

That home, a minimalist, steel and glass structure perched in the Hollywood Hills, first shot to fame as the subject of the iconic 1960 photo by Julius Shulman in which two young women seemingly float inside an all-glass living room overlooking the lights of Hollywood. The house–dubbed “L.A.’s original dream home” by the L.A. Times–has since come to embody mid-century modernist architecture; it’s also appeared in numerous films and earned a historical designation.

Koenig was just 32 when he began work on that property, and would go on to design dozens more projects, often emphasizing industrial and prefabricated materials, especially steel and glass. His career helped “to define Modern architecture as we know it,” in the words of the Los Angeles Conservancy.

The architect began designing the Malibu beach house around 2000, according to the website Dwell, when he was in his mid-70s. The project was a collaboration with Michael LaFetra, the movie producer and architecture enthusiast who owned the property. A year earlier LaFetra bought one of Koenig’s early works, Case Study House #21, and the two men had became friends.

Koenig was apparently fond of the Malibu property, once remarking that its view rivaled the famous vista from the Stahl House, He died in 2004, and the house was finished–according to his specifications–around 2011.

The final product, set on an 8,700-square-foot lot with Cypress trees, is a three-level glass, steel and concrete structure with 4,000-square-feet of living space. The house is located at the end of a gated cul-de-sac, and also has a solar power system, underground garage, and floating outdoor walkways.

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