Profile

Bates Masi + Architects LLC, a full-service architectural firm with roots in New York City and the East End of Long Island for over 50 years, responds to each project with extensive research in related architectural fields, material, craft and environment for unique solutions as varied as the individuals or groups for whom they are designed. The focus is neither the size nor the type of project but the opportunity to enrich lives and enhance the environment. The attention to all elements of design has been a constant in the firm’s philosophy. Projects include urban and suburban residences, schools, offices, hotels, restaurants, retail and furniture in the United States, Central America and the Caribbean. The firm has received 154 design awards since 2003 and has been featured in national and international publications including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Metropolitan Home, and Dwell. Residential Architect Magazine selected Bates Masi one of their 50 Architect’s We Love. In 2013, Bates Masi was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.

Paul Masi spent childhood summers in Montauk and currently resides in Amagansett. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from Catholic University and a Masters of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He worked at Richard Meier & Partners before joining this firm in 1998.

Harry Bates, a resident of East Hampton, received a Bachelor of Architecture from North Carolina State University. After ten years with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, he was in private practice in New York City for 17 years before moving the firm to Southampton on the East End in 1980. Our offices have recently relocated to a new office building of our own design in East Hampton.

Acton Cove

Acton Cove

Lot size: 0.25 acres

Size: 5,579 sq. ft.

Location: Annapolis, MD

Program: Single Family Residence

Photographer: Michael Moran

Contractor: Pyramid Builders

Landscape Architect: Gregg Bleam Landscape Architect

 

An active family with a love of boating wanted a home on Chesapeake Bay, surrounded by the maritime charm of Annapolis harbor. They found a small but spectacular lot with a house on it from the 1970’s. The existing house did not meet the owners’ needs but its bulkheads and docks provided a unique opportunity: the chance to build a home just steps from the water in downtown Annapolis. As the previous house was demolished, layer upon layer of old bulkheads and fill revealed how generations of previous owners had expanded the site into the harbor and reinforced it from the elements. This process of layering inspired the solution to the current design challenges - the harsh coastal environment and the privacy issues of being in close proximity to neighbors and active waterways. The new design configures layers of site features and envelope elements to provide privacy and weather protection, while encouraging connections to the outdoors.

The outermost layer is the bulkhead itself, on top which sits a boardwalk of 2x8 ipe decking which connects several docks on the property. Stepped weathering steel planters mediate between the boardwalk level and the ground level, which is elevated above the flood plane. Deep overhangs protect the house and provide shade to the decks that surround it. The second floor, also encircled by cantilevered decks and balconies, is wrapped in layers of fixed ipe screens and operable canvas drapes. Riding in a continuous track along the entire perimeter, the drapes can be configured to provide privacy at the master balcony, a wind block at the outdoor fireplace, or shade for the outdoor dining area. The large expanses of glass are also operable, pocketing into the adjacent walls to merge the indoor and outdoor spaces completely, or providing the option of insect screens. Interior linen drapes and roll shades provide the last layer of operable screening. The multiple layers can be configured for a variety of activities requiring different levels of privacy, and for different weather conditions, extending the time the family spends outdoors.

The materials of the various layers reflect the character of the working harbor. Weathering steel planters reference sheet pilings. 3x14 reclaimed heart pine siding is reminiscent of heavy timber bulkheads. Oversize silicone bronze screws, left exposed to fasten the siding, are pulled from the ship building industry. Woven rope and sailcloth details draw on local crafts. These traditional materials, layered with modern insulation, glazing, and building systems create a high-performance structure, contributing to the LEED Certification of the house.

In its thoughtful layering of envelope and site elements, the design connects the house and its owners with the best aspects of the environment, while providing shelter from the challenging elements.