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.

Tree House

Tree House

Lot size: 0.15 acres

Building size: 1,440 sq. ft.

Location: Fire Island, NY

Program: Single Family Residence

Photographer: Courtesy of the owner

Contractor: William A. Lynch


On a National Seashore island with divergent communities, this two-level house, referred to by its Owner as his “tree house”, is situated in a dense grove of pines and hollies. Served for the most part by wooden walkways, the island is primarily seasonal with a lively social scene in the warmer months and a more reflective atmosphere in the cooler days and nights.

After briefly considering renovating an old waterfront house, the Owner, an interior designer, bought the heavily wooded lot close to the bay that he wanted to see from the main living level. His aesthetic was simple, opting for the architecture and natural surroundings to be the dominant elements.

The approach to the closely positioned cubes leads to a walled deck and glass entrance. Two guest bedrooms, bath, and guest deck are on the first floor with a steel stair leading to the living, dining, kitchen, master suite, and deck on the second floor with views of the bay and treetops.

All exterior and interior wall surfaces and cabinets are rough-cut cypress; the flooring is bleached oak. The ceilings are exposed fir structural members, and doors and windows are aluminum. The wall-hung fireplace provides heat on cool spring and autumn days and evenings.

The 1” X 12” cypress vertical louvers on the high windows reduce the intensity of the southern sun. The east and west walls of the house have selected views but are virtually blank because of the close proximity of the neighbors and a community walkway.

Whether alone or with guests and coupled with the often erratic weather, the serenity of the elevated spaces was a welcome respite for the Owner for many years from a crowded and busy professional life in the city.