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.

Promised Land

Promised Land

Lot size: 1.25 acres

Building size: 4,135 sq. ft.

Location: Amagansett, NY

Program: Single Family Residence

Photographer: Bates Masi Architects

Contractor: K. Romeo Inc.


The owners of this Amagansett property and their family have a passion for being on the water. Their interests (wind surfing, kite boarding, and sailing) share a common thread of dependence on the wind. Whether relaxing at home or on a nearby beach, the owners are constantly searching for cues that the environmental conditions are optimal to get on the water.

In researching weather data for this site, it was discovered that the predominant origin of the wind was from the west. This created an excellent opportunity to utilize the wind as a primary driver for organizing space and to treat the architecture as a canvas indicating its conditions.

With a bias toward the wind, the program is organized about an east-west axis that divides the public and private wings. This axis is carried through the entire site, carving a narrow clearing through the forest that channels the wind while large sliding glass doors surrounding living spaces admit the breeze into the house. The two wings are connected only by a circulation bridge, which can be completely opened to allow the wind to flow through the site without interruption. In parallel with the axis, and located between the two wings, is a reflecting pool, which acts as a barometer for displaying the status of the wind. As the sun rotates around the house, it bounces off the rippled surface of the water and projects the character of the wind onto the ceilings of adjacent spaces.

The structural system is a series of exposed glulam wood beams running east-west with venting panels between each beam at the perimeter. To achieve large spans, the beams are joined by steel flitch plates that create a void for light fixtures. These same flitch plates also cantilever from the beams to support the thin profile roof that extends from all sides of the house. Together, these elements create a holistic system that reinforces the role of the architecture. The overhangs capture the wind, directing it through the venting panels and along the beams like a wind tunnel.

With the utilization of wind comes the opportunity for the landscape to contribute to the experiences of the house. Lavender, mint and other aromatic plants were introduced to the windward side of the property. As it traverse through the site, the wind picks up scents along the way and carries them into the spaces.

Acting as a tool for highlighting environmental information, the architecture is dependent on the context. However, without the unique interests of its inhabitants this information is not useful. Because of their interdependent relationship, both place and lifestyle are enriched in a single gesture.