Starchitects of the East End

Hamptons-based firm Bates + Masi rack up awards and say market</br> is busier than ever

From left: Paul Masi and Harry Bates. rendering of Sag Harbor United Methodist Church renovation
From left: Paul Masi and Harry Bates. rendering of Sag Harbor United Methodist Church renovation

Award-winning minimalist architects Harry Bates and Paul Masi have designed dozens of homes on the East End of Long Island, where they both live.
Their work — which includes Quail Hill, a 4,400-square-foot house in Amagansett that just sold for $4.5 million — has been hailed as edgy and original, and the firm has won 95 design awards since 2003.

Unlike the homes of some builders in the Hamptons, no two Bates + Masi houses look alike. The architects recently spoke to The Real Deal about their current projects, the latest in design trends and the state of the luxury market.

What projects are you working on?

We are currently working on several projects including the transformation of a historic Sag Harbor church into a private residence, the creation of a new commercial (LEED certified) building that will house our offices in East Hampton, and a number of custom homes throughout the Eastern Seaboard.

Can you give an example of a feature people are currently looking to have in their homes they may not have asked for a few years ago?

Homes are more integrated with technology, especially the mechanical systems, and they are more efficient and able to be utilized only when they need to be.

What are your most recent award winners?

Pierson’s Way (a 7,400-square-foot home in East Hampton that incorporated existing barn-like buildings into a contemporary design) was named the regional winner of the Sub-Zero and Wolf Best of the Best Kitchen Design Awards. The five-bedroom home in Amagansett named Elizabeth II, which included 20-inch thick walls for both thermal and acoustic insulation, won a number of accolades including the Wood Design and Building Citation award. (Masi built that home for his family to live in in 2012.)

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Are there any other new bells and whistles clients want these days?

Most clients want durability rather than a specific product or amenity. Clients are looking more long term in regards to sustainability and their investment. Properties are not being viewed as a disposable commodity.

How would you characterize the market, including sales prices?

The market is very busy. The sales prices are probably the highest we’ve seen and they keep going up. We still think there are great investments in the community.

Why do you think there is a surge in sales now?

Many of our clients are in the financial sector and are doing very well. From their financial gains they are investing in second homes.

Are there new areas that are becoming hot?

I’d have to say Sag Harbor, Amagansett and Montauk. These areas have been hot, but relative to the surrounding communities, they are booming.