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 170 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.

Cherry Point

Cherry Point

Lot size: 0.25 acres

Building size: 1,685 sq. ft.

Location: Amagansett, NY

Program: Single Family Residence


A waterfront site coexistant with a tidal marsh yielded only a twenty-five hundred square foot buildable footprint for this windsurfer’s family beach house. The environmentally sensitive lot needed a unique water treatment system that was integrated into the architecture. This system had to be placed above ground level, creating an artificial plateau.

Raised on wooden pilings seven feet above the area’s floodplain, the house’s elevated entry deck lies flush with an artificial plateau determined by the requisite fifteen thousand cubic foot above ground waste water system. The main floor is further raised through an inversion of the traditional domestic organization – daytime living quarters on top, sleeping quarters below. Although this configuration affords panoramic views of the bay from the glazed living room and its adjacent sundeck, it also effectuates a physical discontinuity between interior and exterior. Since the land was purchased for its natural beauty as well as its proximity to the open water, and since legalistic constraints forbid the building’s extension into its landscape, the landscape would have to reach into the house – conceptually and visually.

With no horizontal surface to spare, the connection is performed within a thin scrim lining the structure’s vertical façades. The gaze cast across the property’s neighboring marshlands, one may witness the effects of the wind on theplane of sea grasses: a rippling effect visibly renders forces and movement typically perceived only through touch as breezes pass over the skin. How could a similar effect take place as a responsive element integral with the architecture? A material is fabricated of loose screening with fishing lures fastened into each opening. This screen partially clads three façades; the lures shimmer as blades of glass, acting as a sort-of barometer that registers changes in wind speed and direction as they occur in real-time. Thus, in addition to engaging the design with its landscape, these walls also act as an essential instrument for the avid windsurfer. As the lures jingle back and forth on their hinges they alternately admit and deny direct southern sunlight into the living room interior, generating flashes of light and patterned shadows across the floor that alert the occupants to optimal surfing conditions.

An attention to materiality that began with the wind-responsive wall continues throughout the house’s exterior development. By layering the wind wall, concrete composite panels, a fenestration system, and a handrail system beyond and behind a basic volume clad in flush wood siding, the sides of an otherwise uninspired box are revealed on edge, lending an elegant thinness to the overall composition.

Through the simple manipulation of materials, in both their detailing and general application, a compact, highly efficient plan is seamlessly reconciled with its undersized lot and tied to the greater environment.