Malibu Architect Legend: Harry Gesner

Nestled beyond the lights of Hollywood and the crowds of Santa Monica, lies Malibu, a hidden gem flanked by mountains on one side and bordering the Pacific Ocean on the other. This quiet, beachcomber sanctuary is an island of peace in the vast ocean that is the LA area, providing refuge to celebrities and high profile individuals who call Malibu home.

Harry Gesner, 87, is one of those people. A Southern California native with family ties traced back to the founders of Santa Barbara, Gesner has made his mark as a modern architectural legend with an eco-friendly twist. Before he became Harry Gesner, famous architect, he was Harry Gesner, surfer boy, World War II hero, international explorer, and entrepreneur.  Still tied to his surfer origins, Gesner gained an interest in architecture while auditing courses at Yale University and taught himself the interworkings of the architectural world.

Known for engineering marvels such as the Eagle’s Watch House and the Wave House in Malibu, Gesner successes has lead him to create over one hundred houses or buildings. Gesner attributes his passion of the outdoors for creating buildings that will be harmonious with the surrounding environment. This is evident in his designs that seemingly invite the outdoors inside with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows complimented by eco-friendly building materials.

At 87 years old, Gesner has lived a lot of life and continues to awe the tiny of Malibu and the world with his extraordinary designs. If history repeats itself, Harry Gesner next venture is sure to push the boundaries of architectural design that have characterized him as an engineering mastermind.

For additional information on Harry Gesner and his iconic Architecture in Malibu, check out Houses of the Sundown Sea and Outside.

Written by: Shelby Gotelli