Malibu designer and architect magnate Scott Gillen is disrupting the real-estate industry one multimillion-dollar home at a time.
Gillen, a former stunt driver and commercial director, founded UnvarnishedCo., a unique brokerage that conceptualizes, builds and lists homes. He personally directs, designs and develops each home and brings in Los Angeles’ top real-estate agents to close sales. Gillen has developed more than 30 homes for wealthy Los Angeles residents, yet it’s his most recent project, The Malibu Series, the most exclusive private residential development in the country, that is making headlines.
In 2017, Gillen purchased 24 acres of undeveloped, oceanfront land in Malibu for a record-breaking $50 million. He is transforming this land into The Malibu Series, a 15-home package of architecturally significant properties, which will be worth more than $500 million once complete. Properties within The Malibu Series include: the New Castle, five Case Residences, Malibu Road Beach House, Paradise Cove House, Cliffside, Point Dume Compound, Serra Retreat, Carbon Canyon, and the Who Homes: Where, Why, What and Who. Homes range from $14 million to more than $100 million and are coveted for the seclusion and proximity to the ocean, as well as the world-class architectural design, the distinct mid-century modern-meets-contemporary vibe and integration into the natural landscape.
Forbes has an exclusive look inside The Malibu Series’ newest listing, the $75 million Case No. 3 residence. Case No. 3 is one of five homes in the Case Residences, which are being built at once and set to be completed in 2021.
Case No. 3 is a mid-century modern, one-level property overlooking the ocean, bluffs and mountains and is situated on more than 2.6 acres. The five-bed, five-bath and three half-bath property spans more than 10,527 square feet and winds within the natural landscape.
“The house is designed from an ergonomic standpoint,” Gillen says. “The living is of ease. It’s a one-story home with a big footprint. You can look across the living room or through to the kitchen and see everybody. That gives you that intimacy between friends or your family. It’s a very comfortable vibe.”
The views at Case No. 3 understandably take center stage, and there are floor-to-ceiling windows on the ocean-facing side of the house to highlight them. The home is made with only the finest natural materials, and Gillen designed the home to let in plenty of natural light through the use of sliding glass doors and large windows.
The home is a work of art, and the experience starts when you first walk in through the teak entrance. There are great spinal walls that run through the inside and outside of the home. To really give it a mid-century modern feel, the exterior has white, fronted brick. However, creating a mid-century modern home today is much more complex than back in the day. “To do that same home now with the codes, restraints, requirements, the amount of glass, coastal weather and earthquakes, it is much more complicated,” he says.
Gillen says the way the house is shaped and built, each bedroom is extremely private and the kitchen and living areas are in the center of the home to bring everyone together. He says: “The house feels good. You don’t know why it feels good, but it does feel good, and I love doing that to people.”
The home features a massive 75-foot by 25-foot infinity pool, which is surrounded by an expansive private deck with several lounge areas. There is also a home office, 25-bottle wine cellar, a glass-enclosed private library and a courtyard.
The pool is one of Gillen’s favorite parts of the house. “It points out to the ocean almost like a diving board, right towards Catalina, and it gets great sun.”
Something to note about Gillen is that he wears many hats and handles nearly every aspect of his homes himself, from building the custom furniture to sanding beams by hand (which, in The Malibu Series New Castle home, took him eight months to complete). Each home is turnkey and Gillen decorates each house the way he would like it. “If you like it too, great, and if you don’t, somebody else will,” he says matter-of-factly. It’s this meticulous attention to detail that warrants the price tag.
Gillen is excited to create a community with the Case Residences, and while each home will have similar aesthetics and flow together, they will have unique architectural designs, furniture and features.
“I like to take something that’s nothing and turn it into something epic. With the Case Residences, I was cognizant of the guy next door,” Gillen says of building the home simultaneously. “You don’t want to live in this house at this price point watching a house next door in construction. The other part, which is really the driver, is the aesthetic of a community. I’m trying to build an island on top of a mountain, where everything works together and it flows.”
He wants residents to feel extremely safe, which is why the Case Residences will have a guarded gate 24/7 and security cameras. The tight-knit community will also have beautiful walking trails around the bluffs, exclusively for homeowners, and plenty of space to enjoy nature without intruding upon your neighbors. Of course, the devastating fires certainly weigh heavy on the mind when deciding to buy in Malibu, and future residents here will have access to a fireproofing system, water cannons around each home and a private firefighter hotline. There is also a built-in fire deterrent in its surrounding concrete walls. Each home also has eight-inch-thick concrete walls that are fireproof.
For those who seek a more laid-back lifestyle without sacrificing on luxury, The Malibu Series offers a unique opportunity for prospective buyers to own in Malibu.
“There’s not a lot of people here, the air is great, the ocean is great,” says Gillen, who has lived in Malibu for nearly 33 years. “Everybody here is a little easygoing and not pretentious. It’s also quick to Santa Monica, the Hills, Thousand Oaks, Westlake, and you’re close to the airport. It’s also really safe and when people go home, they want to be safe.”
Five homes in The Malibu Series are completed and three homes have sold. The New Castle home is still on the market for $75 million.