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 130 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.

Atlantic

Atlantic

Lot size: .3 acres

Building size: 2,300 sq. ft.

Location: Amagansett, NY

Program: Single Family Residence

Photographer: Bates Masi + Architects

Contractor: K. Romeo Inc.

 

Across the street from the property, in the low dunes near the Atlantic Ocean, a historic Life Saving Station serves as a cherished reminder of the maritime, military and architectural history of this coastal landscape. Built over a century ago, the station is part of a network of structures used to provide rescue and relief for shipwrecked sailors, and it was from this station that a guard once discovered Nazi invaders coming ashore during World War II. Designed with lookout towers, weather-protected cupolas and elevated decks, the stations offered many views for the crews to survey the horizon through all seasons. Inside, large, open storage rooms often featured boats, oars and other useful items hung from exposed beams for easy access. Taking cues from this structure, the design of the new residence strikes a dialogue with the landmark to enrich the experience of the new home and celebrate the local history.

The principal strategy for the home stems from the utilitarian practice of hanging boats and other items from the station’s wooden post and beam structure. In a modern reinterpretation, the residence features an exposed steel structure which defines the main living spaces and forms a framework onto which other functions can be hung: the main stair is strung from beams above, and the rods used to support each tread serve as guardrail for the stair; a wood burning stove sits on a suspended steel shelf; light fixtures are fastened to the flanges using standard beam clamps; a swinging chair hangs from the cantilevered living area above.

On the exterior, a system of bronze bars was developed to hang the thick cedar siding boards in place without fastening through the wood, allowing the boards to expand and contract naturally with changes of temperature and humidity. Like the weathered cedar shingles on the Station across the street, each material—cedar, bronze, and weathering steel—was chosen for its proven durability in the coastal climate. As each material weathers over time, the appearance of the siding will record the cycles of rain, sun, freeze and thaw: cedar will lighten from the sun; bronze bars will patina to dark brown and eventually turn green; weathering steel will develop a deep rusted texture on the surface which protects it from further corrosion by the salty air. The weathering steel around the base of the building marks the height the home was raised above the flood plane. To minimize the impact of the footprint on the sensitive ecological environment, the main living area is stacked above the bedrooms, and, like the lookout towers of the stations, an even higher roof deck provides elevated views of ocean.

By taking cues from the historic lifesaving station, the home responds to the environmental and historical context. In so doing, it honors the local heritage and enriches the present day experience.