We’ve met our latest imaginary boyfriend in the pages of the new coffee-table book Houses of the Sundown Sea. Harry Gesner is movie-star handsome and surfs every day near his Malibu house. He’s also an accomplished architect whose expressionistic designs inspired everyone from the Sydney Opera House builder to Marlon Brando.
No matter that Gesner’s now 86 years old and happily married. We’ve been flipping through the pages of Houses, a monograph written by Lisa Germany, and imagining how Gesner would design a home for us. Perhaps he’d build one with lots of glass and dramatic ceiling beams, like the Scantlin House or Eagle’s Watch. The latter, a three-bedroom, has a beachfront location, fireplace and imported marble enough to command $15,000 a month in rent.
Of course, we’d most like Gesner to set us up in another Wave House, the celebrated property that graces the book’s cover. Its curved roof is reminiscent of waves--fitting, because he sketched its initial design on his surfboard while bobbing in the Pacific.
Gesner’s charm, talent and derring-do (he was wounded in Normandy and collected artifacts in Ecuador) has charmed scribes at The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and after reading this monograph, we’re firmly in their camp.