Ye strips Tadao Ando beach house in Malibu back to its structure

Ye's stripping of a Tadao Ando house in Malibu

Musician Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has removed the windows and gutted the interior of a concrete home in Malibu, California, designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

Images of the home’s bare structure have been widely shared following a New Yorker article where contractor Tony Saxon detailed how the house was gutted at the request of Ye, who in recent years has been condemned for his public antisemitic comments.

Ye's stripping of a Tadao Ando house in Malibu
Ye has stripped a Tadao Ando-designed home back to its concrete structure. Above and top photos by Backgrid

Ye’s transformation of the Ando-designed beach house, which he purchased in 2021 for $57.3 million, included ripping out the ocean-facing windows, kitchen, marble-clad bathrooms, concrete hot tub and indoor fireplace with its stainless steel chimney pipes.

The work began shortly after the purchase with the City of Malibu issuing the first of three stop-work orders in December 2021, as construction was happening without permits. It was put on the market in April this year for $39 million.

Gutted Tadao Ando house by Ye
Changes were made to the building without permits. Photo by Backgrid

The home was originally designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning Ando for Wall Street financier Richard Sachs, with local architecture studio Marmol Radziner working as executive architect.

“We hope to be involved in rebuilding what we built once before,” Marmol Radziner design partner Ron Radziner told Dezeen.

“It would be wonderful to bring the house back to Tadao Ando’s vision.”

Original Tadao Ando concrete house in Malibu
The home originally had large windows overlooking the beach

Completed in 2013, the house was built into a sloped seafront and is raised on four concrete columns above the beach.

A two-storey concrete facade faces the street and its ocean-facing facade formerly had floor-to-ceiling windows and glass balustrades, which were removed.

Photos show safety barriers now placed on the edges of the concrete shell where windows and glass balustrades once were, which have rusted and stained the concrete flooring.

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The New Yorker reported that Ye approached Marmol Radziner to make changes to the house, including removing the cabinets and turning the staircase into a ramp. The studio agreed they could take out the cabinets but nothing else, after which Ye turned to Saxon.

Saxon was reportedly invited to the Malibu property by Bianca Censori, who studied architecture at the University of Melbourne and is now married to Ye.

Concrete house in Malibu by Tadao Ando
Tony Saxon revealed details of the home’s demolitions to The New Yorker

It took Saxon and his colleagues six weeks to strip the interior bare, during which he slept in the gutted concrete house. Saxon is now suing Ye for a back injury and underpayment.

“It’s funny – and not funny, in a way – to say, ‘I’m the man who single-handedly destroyed this architectural masterpiece,” Saxon told The New Yorker. “But I pretty much did.”

Interior of a concrete home in Malibu by Tadao Ando
Glass balustrades and stainless steel chimney pipes in the Ando-designed house were among the fixtures removed by Ye

Despite having an appreciation for Ando, Ye had his own aspirations for the house, which he wanted to be evocative of a retro bomb shelter.

This included eliminating the kitchen, bathrooms, windows, light fixtures, heating and air conditioning, as well as cutting off the power and water.

Exterior of a concrete house in Malibu
The home has a two-storey street-facing facade.

The musician had previously tried his hand at architectural projects when he prototyped domed housing for the homeless, which was demolished after he failed to secure a building permit.

Actor Chris Pratt also recently drew online attention when he tore down a 1950s home in Los Angeles, originally designed by architect Craig Ellwood, to make way for a mansion.

The photography of the original house is by The Oppenheim Group and Roger Davies.

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