Bates Masi + Architects’ East Hampton Office: 2017 Best of Year Winner for Firm’s Own Office
In the many years that Interior Design Hall of Fame members Harry Bates and Paul Masi had been practicing together, spreading their signature warm minimalism, their own office remained decidedly uncherished. What’s more, it became a long drive for Bates, who is now 90. So the architects found an attractive site closer to home. They also found a friend who was looking for space for his law firm.
The resulting two-office building is a cleanlined volume of 5,000 square feet, clad in vertical planks of white cedar held together with stainless-steel clips. “When the exposed side of the planks is at the end of its lifespan, we can just flip them around,” Masi says. “They’ll age like leather.” He and Bates chose white oak for the studio proper—the walls, the builtin shelving of the samples library, the floor, and the ceiling. Copper is found at the entries and, most dramatically, in the stairwell. The steps are mahogany, which reappears in the shower area and on the roof deck, a treasured spot for employee birthdays or a casual cocktail while the sun goes down. “I just really look forward to coming into work,” Bates says with a happy sigh. The office has become a home away from home.
Project Team: Doug Farrell; Aaron Weil.