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.

North Main

North Main

Lot size: 0.45 acres

Building size: 5,000 sq. ft.

Location: East Hampton, NY

Program: Commerical

Photographer: Michael Moran/OTTO

Contractor: Lettieri Construction

 

Many contemporary commercial structures are planned with inherent disposability, minimizing initial cost at the expense of fortitude and long-term usefulness. This owner-occupied project challenges the conventional approach, enhancing the property’s value with durable material systems, flexible infrastructure, and adaptable spatial organization.

Based on vernacular building traditions, simple forms and naturally weather-resistant materials are employed instead of complex geometries, high-tech coatings, or materials that are at odds with the environment, both in the aesthetic sense of standing out among neighboring buildings and in the ecological sense of their toxicity. Copper shingles will show the effects of weathering but not succumb to them for at least 100 years. Similarly, the rainscreen siding of cedar planks will patina but endure, its longevity increased by an innovative fastening method of custom stainless steel clips. The clips grip the edges of each board instead of penetrating it with fasteners. Allowed to expand and contract and free of penetrations, the typical first point of failure, the boards will outlast typical cedar siding. In the same way that a car’s tires are prolonged by rotation, with the clip system the boards can be transferred from severe- to moderate- weathering facades and individually flipped front-to-back, further increasing their lifespan. A garden of beach grass insulates and protects the roof from sun and weather. Planted in modular trays, individual portions of the green roof can be removed for maintenance or to add future technologies such as photovoltaics.

Future technological developments are accounted for inside as well. Reflecting the siding, interior walls are clad by the same system of boards and clips. The boards can be easily removed and replaced, providing access to continuous chases that contain the power distribution, phone, and data cabling, as well as hvac ductwork. Electrical and hvac outlets can be moved, wireless transmitters hidden, and data cables upgraded with minimal disturbance. Additionally, the wood screens serve an acoustic purpose, the spaces between them admitting and trapping sound to prevent echoes in the large open spaces. The open-plan interior also provides for changing spatial needs. The hybrid steel and engineered wood structure allow for unencumbered, airy, daylit spaces that can be easily reconfigured. Even the overhead lighting in these open spaces provides for adaptation. Decorative globes hang from their cords on a grid of the siding clips. Light fixtures can be moved among the various clips depending on different furniture layouts.

In addition to enhancing the building’s value, the qualities of durability and flexibility lay the foundation for its sustainability. Unlike many “green” buildings, this project attends to basic construction elements instead of relying on auxiliary technologies to make it sustainable. By simplifying the structure’s configuration, minimizing building technologies, and facilitating future adaptation, the project attains “timelessness”; it will outlast its contemporaries and extend our natural resources.