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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.

Piersons Way

Piersons Way

Lot size: 1.7 acres

Building size: 7,400 sq. ft.

Location: East Hampton, NY

Program: Single Family Residence

Photographer: Michael Moran

Contractor: Men at Work Construction Corp.

Interior Designer: Damon Liss Inc.

Landscape Architect: Bates Masi Architects

 

Located within a private oceanfront community established in the 19th century, this residence is for a young couple looking for a home that would accommodate their growing family and reflect their modern lifestyle. Due to its history, most houses in the neighborhood are more conservative in design and scale than surrounding contemporary oceanfront communities. As a result, the clients desired a modern home that would fit within it’s historic context while embracing the modest scale of the property.

The design meets these goals by referencing the nearby agrarian vernacular buildings, specifically gabled potato barns embedded in the ground. A unique structural system was employed to create a false ground plane that slopes up from grade to the second floor, masking the scale of the house when viewed from the street. The structure consists of 7” thick glue-laminated wood panels supported by steel girders and columns. This structure eliminates the necessity of traditional wood framing and structural elements and is exposed as the finished ceiling surface throughout the ground level spaces.

The structure allows for a number of design opportunities: the material transitions seamlessly from inside to outside as a 12’ by 90’ long cantilever, stair treads are cut from the same material to express its thickness and cylindrical recesses are carved out of the wood ceiling to transform surface mounted fixtures into lighting elements. This method of carving continues throughout the design as casework and custom furniture.

While the first floor is dedicated to guests and entertaining, the second floor is reserved for the family. The elevated ground plane that surrounds the family bedrooms is planted with native grasses. Within the plantings, intimate outdoor spaces are created for small gatherings, including a fire pit and spa with views of the ocean. Sloping portions of the elevated ground plane include paths to connect the family areas with the more public entertaining areas at grade.

Materials traditionally used on agricultural buildings are selected for their low maintenance, durability and ability to gracefully weather over time, here cedar and weathering steel are executed in nontraditional ways. Alaskan yellow shakes monolithically clad the roof and sidewalls with the coursing exposure four times larger than the typical coursing in order to reduce the apparent scale of the house. The weathering steel references the corrugated steel often used on barn roofs and self seals to create a durable, low maintenance cladding. The warm, earthy tones of these materials blend with the weathered landscape that surrounds it. Surrounding contemporary oceanfront communities are becoming known for their overdevelopment and disconnect from their surrounding environment. By referencing the local vernacular and elevating the ground plane, this large house is rooted within the landscape and becomes a cohesive addition to the neighborhood.