bates masi architects, sag harbor, n.y.

By assembling a series of prefabricated components, Paul Masi, AIA, created a well-crafted, interactive building that can adapt to the owner's lifestyle changes. When the client, a writer, decided to down-size, she wrote a letter to Masi, who had also designed her existing house next door.

Leaving out conventions such as number of bedrooms, she described her day and requested only a light, informal structure. Masi designed it as one big room, almost like a library, with secondary spaces feeding off it. The framework is simple, sturdy, and efficient, consisting of concrete foundation walls, formaldehyde-free fiberboard, dyed-concrete wall panels, pre-assembled wood screens, and a cantilevering rack system like those used in lumberyards to hold lifts of plywood. It also has adjustable brackets and arms that support the kitchen cabinetry, fireplace mantle, and the upstairs walkway and mahogany bookshelves. “The rack system provided a lot of flexibility and a lot more for your dollar,” Masi says.

“It's a beautiful, efficient, and well-crafted building and a really interesting place to live,” said one judge. “It looks like this was designed for somebody who really wanted that space to be what it is.”

principal in charge / project architect: Paul Masi, AIA, Bates Masi Architects
general contractor: Seacoast Construction, Bellport, N.Y., and Robert M. Padden Construction, Montauk, N.Y.
interior designer:
Bates Masi Architects
project size: 1,200 square feet
site size: 0.5 acre
construction cost: $190 per square foot
photography: Harry Bates, Bates Masi Architects