Malibu ‘Temple of Muses’ is Not Your Average Beach House

2050 Rambla Pacifico, Malibu, CA
For sale: $3.395 million

When architect and surfer Cho Yiu Kwan designed his home in 1993, he called it the “Temple of Muses.” His muse being a 5-acre hilltop location overlooking some of the most prominent surf breaks in Malibu.

“You can watch sunrise to sunset with the Pacific Ocean laid out in front of you. It’s very dramatic,” said listing agent Brant Didden. “Kwan designed and built everything around the inspiration he was getting from nature.”

The result, in Kwan’s words, was “an assemblage of parts, forms and pieces with water at its center.” Perhaps most striking is the giant triangular facade framing the home’s glass and cement exterior.

“You feel like you are in nature but also in a glass-enclosed piece of art,” Didden said.

The house remains a standout piece on the Malibu real estate scene with a surprise at every turn. The master bathroom has three “pods” that look like giant beer tanks but actually house the sink, shower and toilet. A circular stairway appears to take you to the roof of the garage but instead leads to a massive tennis court framed by the Santa Monica Mountains. Finally, an elevator takes you to a lower level with a movie theater room looking out over a koi pond.

“You look to your left and feel like you’re sitting at the level of the water,” Didden explained. “It’s like you’re submerged.”

While unusual architecture can deter some buyers, Didden says he listed the home just a week and a half ago and has already had a half dozen showings.

“I showed it to this couple and they are in love,” he said. “[When the woman saw the master bathroom pods,] she was like ‘That is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in a house.’ ”

Compared to other homes in Malibu, where the median list price is $3.25 million, this one is listed for $145,000 more. A buyer should expect a monthly payment around $13,593, assuming 20 percent down on a 30-year fixed mortgage.

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Catherine Sherman, a real estate writer for Zillow Blog, covers real estate news, industry trends and home design. Read more of her work here.