Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/Invision/AP/AFP

Andō Tadao, is one of Japan’s leading contemporary architects. He is best known for his minimalist concrete buildings.

Andō is a self-taught architect . Some of his earliest works are such as the Azuma House (1976) in Ōsaka and the Koshino House (19781) in Ashiya. In these early commissions, he used beautifully detailed reinforced concrete walls, a form that gave his buildings a massive minimalist appearance and simple contemplative interior spaces. These works established the aesthetic Andō would continue throughout his career: essentially Modernist, coming out of the tradition of Le Corbusier’s experiments with concrete, his work is also rooted in the spirituality of Japanese architectural space. Andō’s structures were often in harmony with their natural environments, taking advantage of natural light in a dramatically expressive way. In his Church of Light (1990) in the Ōsaka suburb of Ibaraki, for example, a cruciform shape is cut out of the concrete wall behind the altar; when daylight hits the outside of this wall, a cross of light is generated within the interior.

Kanye West bought the Japanese “art island” designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Ando, The place is also one of only a handful of Ando-designed homes in the United States. The nearly 4,000-square-foot house was initially offered at an outrageous $75 million last year, before being removed from the market. But the discounted sale price is also the second-highest number paid for a Malibu home this year, behind only an $87 million transaction that recorded in February.

Seller – Richard Sachs Year – 2013

Buyer – Kanye West Architect -Tadao Ando, Marmol Radziner

Location – Malibu, Calif. Specs – 3,665 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

Price – $57.3 million Lot – Size 5,672 square feet

View from Kanye West's Tadao Ando-designed residence looking onto the ocean in Miami, Florida.

The house was sold by Richard Sachs, the Malibu property last transferred for just $1.9 million in 2003. Beginning in the mid-aughts, Sachs spent millions, and seven years of planning and construction, to build a hulking three-story house that more closely resembles a military-grade bunker than it does an ordinary home. The structure reportedly required 1,200 tons of poured concrete, 200 tons of steel reinforcement and 12 pylons driven 60 feet into the ground, supporting the monstrously heavy house from sinking into the sand.

It’s not so much esthetics during the day looking ‘at’ the building, it’s reinforced concrete looking very strong against storm winds & surf, plus wind-tolerant safety glass doors & windows. There are rail balcony glass along the edges for safety, hard to see in the lower images, if you follow the outside edge you’ll notice slight glare reflecting it (the top photo, looking at the building outside shows the safety glass rail placement along the decks & metal hand rails at the stairs). The beauty of the buildings are about the views looking ‘outward’ (sunrise/sunset/night clouds & moon reflections, etc.) from inside and from the patio decks, not sure if they can see stars at night anymore. The building lights look beautiful at night against the walls, even if starkly furnished.

Kanye West House Malibu
Photo : Google
Kanye West House Malibu
Photo :

Each of the home’s three levels has a distinct purpose. The lowest floor holds three ensuite guest bedrooms, while the middling level houses the public areas—the living room, kitchen and powder room. The top floor is exclusively reserved for the owner, with its penthouse-level bedroom suite and rooftop oceanside terrace overlooking the crashing waves far below. Photos of the interiors don’t appear to exist online, but the decor been described as minimalist “yet warm,” by Marmol Radziner, the L.A.-based architecture firm that built the house in collaboration with Ando.

The steel and concrete in this structure will continue to be a solid foundation on which to build higher if the sea level rises. Will it become its own island? It could if coastal erosion continues (regardless of sea level change).

Meanwhile, it looks fireproof. It looks like it could survive a land slide. I doubt an earthquake will rattle it.

And, it also looks like the only sound you will hear inside is the ocean.