An East Hampton residence by Bates Masi is situated to harness the elements.
Not everyone goes to the Hamptons for the social scene. Some people still head to the East End of Long Island to engage with the natural environment, a seascape where the Atlantic Ocean meets expanses of pristine beach studded with tall grasses, rustic picket fences, and shingle-clad homes. George and Catherine, Manhattanites with a family that loves water sports, are some of those people. So when they decided to build the escape they had always imagined near one of the best spots for wind sports in the area, they called Paul Masi, of East Hampton-based Bates Masi + Architects.
Masi, who earned his master’s of architecture degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard and worked at Richard Meier & Partners before starting his own firm, devised for them a 3,200-square-foot piece of dynamic architecture that goes beyond referencing its surroundings and actually works in tandem with the wind, water, and sunlight, so their effects become greater in and around the house.
The residence’s two-part layout separates public from private spaces: The kitchen, dining, and living areas are located in the northern wing, and the family’s bedrooms and bathrooms are in the southern. A glass-enclosed walkway bridges the two sections and offers access to an exterior reflecting pool that’s tucked into an alcove. “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,” Masi says. The architect also planted native grasses, lavender, and mint on the windward side of the structure so the breeze picks up their scents and carries them through the house.