December 20, 2017

East Hampton House by Bates Masi + Architects: 2017 Best of Year Winner for Beach House

Sure, it’s nice living on the water. But when Long Island was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it destroyed waterfront houses including one 1960’s example overlooking a lagoon. Interior Design Hall of Fame members Harry Bates and Paul Masi were hired to conceive a replacement that would be, as Masi eloquently puts it, “the child of the old one.” That meant it should reveal its structure honestly.

East Hampton Beach House by Bates Masi + Architects. Photography courtesy of Bates Masi + Architects.

Sited in the exact same spot, with the same orientation, the new version nevertheless needed to be built 5 feet above ground level to comply with new flood-zone requirements. Accordingly, the 3,500-square-foot structure sits on a concrete base, like a sculpture poised on a pedestal. Skeletal steel columns and beams support a roof made of cross-laminated timber that’s left exposed on its underside to double as the ceiling surface, milled into recesses for light fixtures and cutouts for skylights.

Bates and Masi are renowned for coaxing beauty and variety from a limited materials palette. “Too many ingredients spoil the stew,” Bates says. Throughout, paneling is cypress, cabinetry is bamboo plywood, and flooring and counters are fossil-flecked Montana limestone. Bronze door handles, rescued from the old house, inspired the choice of burnished bronze to surround the fireplace. You need only a few ingredients if you choose them wisely.

Project Team: Daniel Widlowski; Jack Booton.

> See more from the December issue of Interior Design

> See all 2017 Best of Year winners and honorees

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