Malibu’s famous Wave House hits the market asking $50M

Mid-Century masterpiece, designed by Harry Gesner, was built to look like a cresting wave

Late architect Harry Gesner; Wave House, 33602 Pacific Coast Highway (, Getty)
Late architect Harry Gesner; Wave House, 33602 Pacific Coast Highway (, Getty)

The Wave House, built to look like breaking surf on the sands of Malibu, has hit the market for the first time in 36 years at $49.5 million.

The ocean-themed home first sketched by the late architect Harry Gesner while on a surfboard just off the beach has listed at 33602 Pacific Coast Highway, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The seller is the estate of the late Warner Bros. music executive Mo Ostin, who died last year at 95. In 1987, Ostin bought the home from Rod Stewart, who had purchased it in the 1970s.

It was in 1957 that Gesner, an avid surfer, sketched his most famous house from a long board while surfing in front of the secluded cove in West Malibu. The home was built in 1963 for his friend and fellow surfer, Gerry Cooper.

The 6,500-square-foot house, created to look like a cresting wave, has hand-cut copper shingles on its vaulted roof that resemble the scales of a fish. It’s considered a Mid-Century Modern masterpiece, a soaring wave on stilts above the beach.

To this day, many insist it inspired the Sydney Opera House, built that year by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, who called Gesner to compliment him on his design. Gesner, who died at his Sandcastle home next door on June 10, 2022, rebuffed the comparison.

“I wish people would not insist that something looks like something else, but they do. It’s human nature and a bore,” he was quoted as saying in the 2012 book “Houses of the Sundown Sea: The Architectural Vision of Harry Gesner” by Lisa Germany. 

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The six bedroom-eight bathroom house includes a large master bedroom with a hot tub and sauna, plus a seating area and deck access. A five-bedroom upper level stretches the width of the property to offer ocean views from nearly every room, according to the listing.

Three wraparound decks echo the shape of the incoming surf. 

Brokers Christopher Cortazzo of Compass and Dena Luciano of Douglas Elliman hold the listing.

Last month, Gesner’s Sandcastle, a cylindrical-shaped home built out of salvaged lumber and old telephone poles next door at 33604 East Pacific Coast Highway, was listed for $27.5 million.

— Dana Bartholomew

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