Home World Chris Pratt has joined by Kanye West in this form of villainy

Chris Pratt has joined by Kanye West in this form of villainy


It’s hard to imagine Chris Pratt and Kanye West having that much in common. The rapper has become a polarizing national figure for his antisemitic rants and other provocative, unhinged behavior, while Pratt strives to maintain an agreeable, PG-rated, family-friendly persona.

But the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star has joined West in becoming a unique kind of cultural villain. They are both celebrities who used their considerable wealth to buy Los Angeles-area homes that were deemed architectural treasures. Both men then destroyed these singular residences out of an desire to impose their particular aesthetic visions on their properties and surrounding neighborhoods and, in West’s case, to make a statement in the larger world of design.

In April, Pratt and his wife, self-help author Katherine Schwarzenegger, became targets of widespread outrage among architecture fans, preservationists and even the national media when it was learned that they “surreptitiously” razed a classic mid-century modern home in Brentwood by famed Southern California architect Craig Elmwood. The couple had essentially purchased the 74-year-old Zimmerman house as a tear-down, to make way for a 15,000-square-foot structure that Dwell magazine scathingly said would be built in the “increasingly ubiquitous, though contentious” farmhouse style.

Kanye West and Bianca Censori attend the Marni Fall/Winter 2024 Fashion Show during the Milan Fashion Week on Feb. 23, 2024, in Milan, Italy. (Alessandro Levati/Getty Images for Marni Srl/TNS)
Kanye West and Bianca Censori attend the Marni Fall/Winter 2024 Fashion Show during the Milan Fashion Week on Feb. 23, 2024, in Milan, Italy. (Alessandro Levati/Getty Images for Marni Srl/TNS) 

Now, this week, West has became the subject of a lengthy piece in the New Yorker, which chronicles his destruction of a unique oceanfront home in Malibu, designed by the Japanese master architect Tadao Ando and built in 2013. The New Yorker piece chronicles how the the hip-hop star’s “beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy” turned the Ando home “into a ruin.”

West, a fashion designer and self-taught architectural enthusiast, purchased the 4,000-square-foot Ando home in the fall of 2021 for $57.3 million — with that exorbitant price largely paying for a residence that itself was considered a sculpture, or a work of art.

Like other Ando homes, this home is largely built of untreated concrete, which communicates “contemporary, if not avant-garde tastes” and a “controlled, sober beauty,” New Yorker writer Ian Parker explained. Incidentally, around the same time, Ando designed a much larger, 42-000-square-foot home, about four miles west along the coast, that was purchased in May 2023 by Beyoncé and Jay-Z for $190 million, the most ever paid for a house in California,

The box-like home West bought stretches out over a narrow slice of beach and is propped up by four pillars at about the high-tide mark, Parker said. The front door, off Malibu Road, leads into an entrance gallery, which, in turn, leads into an open living room area where the house “delivers its vast, binary view of sky and ocean, through floor-to-ceiling windows,” Parker said.

The previous owner, a money manager, used the house to display his collection of contemporary art. West had other ideas.

Shortly after he purchased the home, West had his then-employee, now romantic partner, Bianca Censori, draft laborers to come in and begin dismantling the interiors and design flourishes, which were already pretty minimalist. According to Parker, she asked a handyman to paint over custom wooden cabinetry and “gorgeous” black-and-white marble tile in a shade that would disguise the boundaries of these surfaces and the concrete walls.

Over time, the workers, at West’s direction, toppled one of the signature chimneys and shattered the “handsome” glass balustrades that lined two staircases that ran alongside each other on either side of a window, Parker reported. The handyman leading the work told Parker that West wanted to turn the staircases into ramps and eliminate the kitchen, bathrooms, air conditioning, windows, light fixtures or heating. He also wanted to cut off the water and power.

“He talked of clarity, simplicity, and a kind of self-reliance,” Parker wrote.  In a “cheerful” text sent to the handyman, in response to a report of the day’s demolition, West wrote, “Let’s gooooo . . . Simple fresh and cleeeeeean.”

New Yorker editor David Remnick said that West’s “quest for purity and perfection” ended in “sadness, a sledgehammer, millions squandered, and no small amount of dust.” The story about West’s destruction of the Ando home gives “a glimpse into Ye’s  brilliance, his peculiarity, his ego, and his mania.”

But the story also addresses the lack of respect that some Americans have for great architecture, especially when it gets in the way of bigger, trendier structures.

“Architectural fame doesn’t guarantee respect,” Parker writes. “Americans have demolished houses by Frank Lloyd Wright and Marcel Breuer.”

The story then describes the destruction wrought by Pratt and his wife, the daughter of journalist Maria Shriver and former action star and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The couple knocked down the residence, designed by “an admired mid-century architect,” and began building something five times as large.

But, referring to West’s Malibu home, Parker said “it’s hard think of another esteemed house that’s been left exposed to the elements, and to the public’s gaze, after being jackhammered halfway to ruins.”

About a year after West bought the Ando home, he made the antisemitic and pro-Nazi remarks that destroyed his business empire and lost him partnerships with Adidas and other companies. In December, news broke that he was putting the home up for sale.

But the story features photos that show the empty hulk that remains of the home. Parker said it’s now an empty house with no windows and a hole where a fireplace was once. The glass balustrades have been replaced with safety barriers that already have rusted. “It was a scene of violence,” Parker said. But he reported that West is still asking $39 million for it.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here