New Report Details How Kanye West Stripped Away Parts of His Tadao Ando–Designed Home

New details about how rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, stripped away parts of a luxe Tadao Ando–designed home emerged in a story by Ian Parker published this week by the New Yorker.

Ye, who has recently made antisemitic statements and praised Hitler, bought the 4,000-square-foot home in Malibu, one of the very few in the United States designed by Ando, for $57.3 million in an off-market deal. It had previously belonged to the Wall Street financier Richard Sachs.

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The home is considered architecturally significant, given that Ando is widely known for designing elegant houses. Within the art world, the Pritzker Prize–winning architect is specifically known for designing museums, including the Chichu Art Museum in Naoshima, Japan, and the Modern Art Museum Fort Worth in Texas.

Demolition work on Ye’s Malibu house reportedly began with getting rid of the smooth, grey, poured concrete minimalist building. That demolition was carried out by a day laborer, handyman, and contractor named Tony Saxon. 

Saxon, who eventually enlisted the help of a small crew, was also asked to strip the house of modern conveniences that most would consider essential: kitchens, bathrooms, and built-in storage. According to Parker, Ye even requested that the floor-to-ceiling windows be removed entirely on one side of the house that faces the Pacific Ocean and that house be disconnected from the grid completely, which meant getting rid of the electricity. 

In the New Yorker story, Saxon described living in the house while undertaking the project, sleeping on a mattress in what was once the kitchen and dining space. In that same room, Sachs had reportedly once hung a painting by George Condo.

One of the recurring characters in Parker’s story is James Turrell, an artist with whom Ye has collaborated. “We all will live in Turrell spaces,” Ye once tweeted, somehow missing the point that there are only 80 or so of the artist’s “Skyspace” installations in the world. The Parker article included one previously unreported anecdote in which Ye attempted, and failed, to construct a “giant sphere” recalling another Turrell work for a concert on short notice.

After Ye’s antisemitic comments in 2022, Ye lost his sneaker deal with Adidas, his fashion deal with the Gap, and his status as a billionaire. That year, the house, now gutted, was put back on the market. According to the story, the listing, handled by the real-estate brokerage the Oppenheim Group, using the same images Sachs used to sell the place to Ye. The listing pegged the house’s value at $53 million, just a hair less than Ye bought it for. Earlier this year, Parker writes, the price of the house was lowered to a very reasonable $39 million.

Following Ye’s search for radical minimalism, the house is now essentially a three-story concrete box with oceanfront views. The home, having been exposed to the elements, is now scarred and pockmarked, its once smooth grey concrete “chewed up” and “pitted” by rain and salt, per Parker. Every so often, the concrete floor is stained by the rusted remains of long-ago installed safety barriers that replaced floor to ceiling windows and glass balustrades. 

Source: artnews.com

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