A House Divided
Friday, February 21st, 2014
The busy family who escapes to this Bridgehampton stunner tasked architects Paul Masi and Harry Bates, principals in Sag Harbor-based Bates Masi Architects, with creating a house that would help them multitask. They wanted a place where multiple activities could happen at once without interrupting each other—so a dinner party for the grownups in one area wouldn’t have to compete with entertainment for the kids in another area, or guests could come and go in their own space without wearing out their hosts’ welcome.
If it sounds like they needed more than one house, well, that’s sort of what they got. “The program is separated into volumes, so for example the master bedroom and bath are a volume, the kids’ rooms are another volume, the dining and living room are another,” says Masi. “Each volume is a separate zone and private since there are fewer adjacencies for noise and activity to transfer.”
But this is a family vacation home, after all, so Bates and Masi overlapped the “boxes” that make up the 6,500-square-foot home in key places to create interesting thresholds and highlight dramatic interior spaces.
Witness the fireplace. The attention-getting piece, clad in darker patinaed bronze on the outside and polished bronze on the inside, also serves a number of key functions: It’s a load-bearing structure that allowed the architects to use lots of glass on the walls, and it conceals a coat closet and HVAC equipment to boot.
The striking but limited materials palette—ceilings, floors, and walls are wrapped in mahogany and travertine clads terrace floors and exterior walls— links the inside and outside, where interstitial spaces between the boxes are filled with gardens and patios that bring everyone together.
“The goal was to achieve continuity between the exterior and interior,” Bates says. And with the open-ended boxes arranged to focus views from the street through the house to the landscape in the rear, and the more closed-off boxes sited to provide privacy from neighboring houses, we’d say mission accomplished.