The ‘Wave House,’ Harry Gesner’s Malibu masterpiece, lists for $49.5 million

The iconic "Wave House" hovers above the beach in Malibu, curling to resemble the rolling waves beneath it.
(Simon Berlyn)

The “Wave House” — one of the most iconic homes on the California coast — just hit the market for $49.5 million. It’s the first time the architectural gem has surfaced for sale in 36 years.

Deriving its name from the cresting rooflines that mimic the waves pitching on the beach just below, the striking structure was built in 1957 by Harry Gesner, the late architect known for designing one-of-a-kind residences along the coast and the mountains above it. Gesner died last year in Sandcastle, another iconic home he designed for himself that sits right next to the Wave House.

He built the idiosyncratic abode for his friend and fellow surfer Gerry Cooper. In 2016, Gesner told Curbed that he drew up the design for the home on a surfboard using a grease pencil.


“I wanted the house to have the look of a giant wave at the peak of its strength,” Gesner said in Lisa Germany’s book, “Houses of the Sundown Sea: The Architectural Vision of Harry Gesner.”

Pop star Rod Stewart bought the home in the 1970s and sold it in 1987 to record executive Mo Ostin, the Warner Bros. mogul who worked with artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Nicks. Ostin also died last year, and his family trust is handling the sale.

The home is a Modernist masterpiece, a reflection of the seaside setting that surrounds it. Drawing inspiration from natural forms, it boasts eccentric archways, rounded decks and walls of glass overlooking the ocean. Inside, a sunken conversation pit is anchored by a floor-to-ceiling fireplace under whitewashed beams.

Real estate records show the home has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms across 6,208 square feet. Other highlights include a landscaped entryway and stone courtyard.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z just set the all-time price record in California, paying $200 million for a striking concrete compound overlooking the ocean in Malibu.

May 19, 2023

Ostin made a few changes during his stay, brightening the living spaces with shades of blue, turquoise and white to match the seaside setting. He also swapped the pebble roof for copper shingles, which have since taken on a natural patina that matches the coastal color palette.

“The space takes your breath away, but at the same time, you feel relaxed,” said Dena Luciano of Douglas Elliman, who shares the listing on the property. “It’s stunning.”


She added that in its prime, the home served as a gathering place for big names in the music industry. More recently, it appeared in the 2019 film “Yesterday.”

Luciano holds the listing with Drew Fenton of Carolwood Estates and Compass agents Chris Cortazzo and Harry Gesner’s son, Zen Gesner.

If it sells, it’ll be the latest recent blockbuster deal in Malibu. In May, Jay-Z and Beyoncé dropped $200 million on a compound eight miles up the coast, setting the all-time price record in the state of California.