Real Estate Report: Snoozing Surfside in Malibu’s Encinal Bluffs


Seriously, I can’t imagine a better place to wake up in. It can be yours for $7.895M.

The Basics: A circa-1960 oceanfront  3-bedroom, 2.5-bath house in Malibu’s Encinal Bluffs, not far northwest from El Matador Beach, plus a separate 1-bed, 1-bath apartment. Garage and parking area but no pool, asking $7.895M.

Not So Basic: It’s not on a bluff, it’s at the bottom of the bluff at the edge of a seawall, and formed like incoming waves with a green-patinated copper roof (also known as ternplate.) And it was designed by Harry Gesner, but more about him later. The realtor’s photos, sadly, don’t show  the curves on the land side of the house, but on the inside they can be inferred by the curving tongue-and-groove timber ceilings and a detail of the entrance.

The decor’s sort of a disaster. Ignore it and imagine empty spaces with an Eames lounge:

The entrance and hall, below. Note the runner pattern from two closely-related tiles, probably from Sausalito’s venerable Heath Ceramics. There’s also a sheltered patio off the kitchen:

Upstairs, tucked under another curve of copper wave is the apartment:

Plus a detail of the railing— also in verdegris, although possibly paint rather than copper– and a detail above the stairs to the apartment following the roofline. Below, a look down the coast to Gesner’s Wave House, one of the archetypes of 1960s biomorphic design. He’s become something of a cult architect in the  Los Angeles area. Read more about Harry Gesner in Vanity Fair and take a look at the Wave House from above at Virtual Globetrotting. Our house is three houses to the left in the aerial view. I love that it’s now “ours.”

Also, check out realtor Chris Cortazzo’s site for a great slide show of the house, along with other jaw-dropping Malibu properties at

Listing: 33618 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu [Redfin]