138 Main Street
Apple Bank Building
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
(use for courier delivery)
P.O Box 510
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
(use for USPS delivery)
Bates Masi + Architects LLC, a full-service architectural firm with roots in New York City and the East End of Long Island for over 45 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 43 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. A gallery exhibition in May 2010 featured the firm’s earlier work from 1960-70.
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 are currently located in Sag Harbor with plans to relocate to a new LEED Certified office building of our own design in East Hampton.
Lot size: 2.1 acres
Building size: 3,400 sq. ft.
Location: Amagansett, NY
Program: Single Family Residence
Photographer: Christopher Wesnofske
At the first meeting, the clients introduced both their growing family and growing art collection. They were particularly excited about a new artist, Vik Muniz, whose works based on photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis provided a delightful discovery upon closer inspection: paintings of the iconic images rendered in peanut butter and jelly. This moment of discovery and playful deception became the design concept of the house.
Approaching the house by the winding driveway, the gabled form, massive chimney, and shingled siding are all reminiscent of traditional houses on eastern Long Island. Looking closely, the shingles are, in fact, a woven screen of oak surveyors stakes, similar to those that dotted the steeply wooded lot when the clients first saw it. Similarly, the massive chimney that anchors the house to the site isn’t solid at all, but is actually made of thin concrete panels.
Entering the house, with a view of the pool and gardens beyond, the wall enclosing the stair looks like translucent stone. One has to look very carefully to see that it is a double paned glass wall filled with small seashells, a reference to the nearby beaches. The double-height living/dining room is a compatible scale and space for the large works of art and family
gatherings. The fireplace surround reflects fragmented images of the art and surrounding landscape while its crystalline appearance defies its humble origins: polished stainless steel military dog tags.
Expectations were also subverted in the structural system of the house to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency. Behind the stake siding and interior gypsum board are walls comprised of precast concrete panels typically used in foundation construction. These durable and low maintenance panels are double insulated for efficiency and are a perfect scale for hanging large art. By staggering the walls slightly, tall, narrow windows admit indirect light and allow glimpses of the landscape.
By subverting expectations, this house encourages multiple readings that change, depending on time and perception. It turns this house into something more: an exploration of perception.