Live life in a modern sculpture

The residence took four years to design and build

Retractable walls of glass lead to several outdoor patios.
  • Retractable walls of glass lead to several outdoor patios.

5672 Dolphin Place, La Jolla, 92037

Current Owner: Stefan Lemperle

Beds: 4

Baths: 4

List Price: $8,795,000

La Jolla’s Lemperle Glass House, a 2007-built modern contemporary home is described in listing materials as “warm modern luxury redefined” and named after owner and AscentX Medical founder and CEO Dr. Stefan Lemperle.

Dubbed by the property’s agent as “the only ocean front residence of its kind,” this “architectural masterpiece” was designed by “acclaimed master architect Jonathan Segal,” who has since moved on to larger commercial projects and built only a limited number of single-family homes. The residence took an estimated four years to design and build, offering the new owner a chance at “life in a one-of-a-kind modern sculpture.”

Glass floor firepits

Glass floor firepits

The home includes over 4300 square feet of living space wedged onto its 4100-square-foot blufftop lot in Bird Rock. There are four bedrooms and four full baths, including a “lower floor retreat perfect for extended family or guests” and “an entire floor dedicated to the master suite,” whose 644-square-foot bedroom area alone is larger than many one-bedroom (and some two-bedroom) residences in San Diego. There’s also a dressing and bath area, which includes a multi-head walk-in shower and separate ocean-view island soaking tub.

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

Other features include “two custom kitchens and dining areas” that feature “superior appliances, finishes, and smart home technology.” American Walnut ceilings and cabinetry are inspired by “the finest European styling.” There’s an “endless unobstructed ocean-view backdrop, boasting 62 feet of direct frontage” accessed by retractable walls of glass leading to several outdoor patios that have gas-powered fire lines and one with a ten-person rooftop “stainless steel sky tub.” The smart-home features allow one to “control the temperature, entertainment, and moods via iPad controls,” while one floor in the living room is partially constructed of glass that doubles as a skylight for another living area below. There’s also an attached two-car garage with a lift that provides parking for a third car.

Master bath

Master bath

Public records show Lemperle purchased the property for just under $2 million in 2001, well before planning for the the house had begun. It’s been listed for sale five times since 2010 and has carried an asking price as high a $14,900,000. The property has also been in and out of foreclosure trouble, having fallen so far as to have foreclosure sale dates scheduled (the final step in the bank’s repossession process) twice before payments were made to bring the outstanding loans current. A third notice of default (an intermediate step in foreclosure proceedings) was filed February 29.

Master bath 2

Master bath 2

When the property was re-listed in January seeking offers between $7,495,000 and $8,795,000, a steep drop from the previous asking price, the national real estate information site took notice and ran a feature on the property. Still, that listing was unable to attract a suitable offer and expired in mid-May. It was immediately re-listed, with the asking price unchanged. The home is also advertised as a vacation rental for between $25,000 and $40,000 per month, depending on the season.

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