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132 North Main Street
2nd Floor
East Hampton, NY 11937

T 631.725.0229

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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 127 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.

Beach Hampton

Beach Hampton

Lot size: .275 acres

Building size: 600 sq. ft.

Location: Amagansett, NY

Program: Single Family Residence

Photographer: Bates Masi Architects

Contractor: Telemark, Inc.

 

Over 40 years ago, a couple purchased a quarter acre of land located 500 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. The state, county, and town codes evolved and what was purchased as a buildable lot had to undergo extensive negotiations to permit even the smallest house allowed. With a footprint of 15’ x 20’ and a height of two stories, 600 square feet was the largest house that could be built. The governing agencies determined the footprint, but there were conflicting regulations restricting the height. FEMA required the first floor to be elevated 6’ above natural grade, while the town restricted the height of the building to be 25’ above natural grade. With these limited parameters, the strategy was to explore the geometry of the building in section and how it can expand our perception of space.

Subtle shifts in the geometry of the building section maximize natural light and views to the sky, expanding the perception of space and openness while maintaining the 15’ x 20’ footprint. As the walls splay out from the base of the building toward the roof, the resultant void is a central light well. The bedroom and study are separated by clear glass walls on either side of the light well, but appear to be one large space. The acoustically divided rooms can be made more private by lowering the privacy shades.

To address the restricted height requirements, the floor and roof plates are engineered to be as thin as possible. Traditional ductwork is eliminated from the floors and roof and each space employs a separate, individually controlled, mechanical unit yielding higher energy efficiency. This unique way of addressing each space is a study in sustainability relating to building smaller and living with less.

Part of the approval process included a required raised portion of the site dedicated to storm water control and sanitary system. This portion of the engineering requirement was utilized by treating the raised area as the foreground to the architecture. The plinth is landscaped with a native grass that captures the patterns of the wind and references the nearby ocean waves. At the end of the path through the grass, the house is an object in the landscape perched on the edge of the plinth.

This 600 square foot house explores a geometric solution to create luxury with a minimum footprint. The experience and function of this small house is similar to the much larger neighboring homes, despite it’s limited size.