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.

Sagaponack

Sagaponack

Lot size: 2 acres

Building size: 8965 sq. ft.

Location: Sagaponack, NY

Program: Single Family Residence

Photographer: Michael Moran

Contractor: Wright & Co. Construction

Interior Designer: Bates Masi Architects

Landscape Architect: Stephen Stimson

 

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and a freshwater pond, this residence is for an adventurous couple and their four sons. They wanted a house for their large family and numerous guests with a lawn, swimming pool, pool house, garage, and sports courts on a site with a limited building envelope due to coastal and wetland zoning. The large program, relatively small footprint, and daunting regulations dictated a building envelope densely packed with program that stood as a barrier between the ocean and the pond. Thus the design process was one of subtraction rather than addition: carving away at the solid mass of the house to reconnect site features and views and to distill the experience of the place.

Spaces run the full width of the house with floor to ceiling sliding doors on both sides. The spaces create apertures through which views, light, and air completely penetrate the house, dissolving its mass. Passersby see directly through the house to the sky and landscape beyond. With the sliding doors open and recessed into the adjacent walls, interior spaces are transformed from formal rooms to open pavilions, merging seamlessly with the site.

To accommodate the extensive program spaces are nested within one another. Operable partitions pull out from the walls of the living room, carving out a media room within the living room when privacy is desired. Conversely, with the partitions open, the media room merges with the living room for large gatherings. The thickness of the wall separating the dining room and kitchen is also cut away, utilizing its depth to accommodate a wine rack that also functions as a light fixture.

The process of carving is applied at the material and detail level as well. The 5/8” corten steel plate that clads the base of the house is waterjet cut into a delicate pattern that defies its mass. Inside, corian is employed for the ease with which it can be milled. Corian countertops are cut to form towel bars, bunk bed frames are carved to create ladders, cabinet doors are recessed to form handles, and wainscoting is subtly etched with meaningful words chosen by the clients.

Materials were chosen not only for their workability, but also for their durability in the coastal environment. Corten steel siding is zero maintenance despite being relentlessly sandblasted by the wind. Cedar siding and screens are finished using a Victorian technique in which the iron sulfate in a blend of white vinegar and iron filings reacts with the tannins in wood, creating an ebony finish that penetrates through the material and will not require refinishing. The lack of harsh stains or finishes reduces the ecological footprint of the house. Geothermal heating and cooling as well as vegetated roofs further reduce the environmental impact.

Using the design approach of sculpting away rather than building up, the house is pared down until the experience of the extraordinary site is dominant.