UC San Diego Is Selling an Esteemed Oceanographer’s Former La Jolla Modern for $5.5M

To live by the sea is the average person’s dream. To live by the sea for an oceanographer is the ultimate aspiration. To live by the sea as an oceanographer in a home designed by none other than one’s own wife? Perhaps there are no words. But that’s exactly the life Walter Munk enjoyed. The renowned oceanographer known as the “Einstein of the Oceans” lived on a hilltop over the water in La Jolla, in a mid-century modern designed by wife Judith Munk for them to share with their children. Built in 1953 and now on the market asking $5.5 million, the serene spread is being sold by none other than the University of California, San Diego.

Known as Seiche, the home occupies an approximately half-acre lot above a protected canyon preserve. Not only does that swath of neighboring land supply beautiful views of its own, but it also ensures uninhibited views of the Pacific Ocean beyond. A lush assortment of gardens, terraces, and outdoor spaces allow one to soak in that sublime scenery regardless of activity—a pool is tucked away in an ivy-covered alcove should that be the water a new owner prefers.

The structure itself, with the interior design and architecture done by Judith, counts 6 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms within 3,478 square feet. Intended as a place to gather, with a cascade of shareable spaces ranging from small sitting areas to an open living and dining room. A guest house also supplies space and privacy for visitors.

Munk, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 101, was known for the ground-breaking research he did at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In 2014, he decided to donate the home to the institute, according to the La Jolla Light.

Brett Dickinson and Ross Clark of Compass hold the stunning listing, which is newly on the National Register of Historic Places.