Hither Hills House / Bates Masi Architects

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects

Project: Hither Hills House
Architects: Bates Masi Architects
Location: Montauk, New York
Building size: 3,355 sq. ft.
Year 2018
Contractor: K. Romeo Inc.
Photographer: Bates Masi Architects

Hither Hills House by Bates Masi Architects is a seaside home that provides owners a weekend respite from the city by optimizing its ties to the land and nature. Located in a postwar planned beach community with small lots plotted irrespective of the steep topography, the property lacked a level ground plane suited to the usual flush relationship between a house and its yard.

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 1

By nesting the house’s volumes into the hillside and stepping them into six distinct levels, the spaces contained within seamlessly connect to the landscape.

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 2

The bulk of the project’s resources are devoted to earthwork and site infrastructure to support this terraced configuration. A series of locally sourced bluestone retaining walls stitch through the site, stepping back with the natural grade and running parallel with the shoreline. These structural walls negotiate the soft, clayey soils and frame the interior and exterior living spaces.

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 3

Traditional public and private floor assignments are inverted, lifting primary living spaces above the neighboring rooflines, and opening the retracting glass wall onto the ocean’s views, breezes, and sunlight. Farthest into the site at the top of the hill lies the swimming pool, set on the sole patch of naturally level ground on par with the house’s upper level. A parallel system of interior and exterior circulation sheltered by cantilevers and roof projections facilitates the “upside-down” configuration while promoting connections to the outdoors.

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 4

On closer inspection, a refined palette of materials is articulated to enhance the effects of nature and harmonize with the landscape. Outside, the bluestone walls’ joints run vertically, expressive of their insertion into the earth and supportive structural role.

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 5

In counterpoint, naturally-weathered horizontal mahogany decking spans between the stone walls and alternates as a covering for the roofs, walls, floors, and ceilings of the inhabited spaces. Inside, oak louvers on canvas hinges under an oversized skylight sway in the ocean breezes, casting dynamic patterns of light and providing cooling shade much like a tree’s canopy.

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 6

An elongated variant of the same louvers forms a chandelier of sorts under lighting at the dining room table. Lightweight curtains lining openings to the outside activate similarly under the effects of natural light and air, rendering the intangible tangible.

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 7

By integrating the house with its terrain and animating its details to enhance appreciation of the environment, this carefully positioned and developed design provides a vibrant sensory immersion in nature on a challenging site. For owners and visitors alike a stay in the Hither Hills House is both rejuvenating and enriching.

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 8

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 9

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 11

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 10

Hither Hills House , Bates Masi Architects 12

Must Read

blank

Queenslander House Upgraded to Accommodate a Growing Family

The sloping site looks out over a regenerated silver and lead mine to the south – a bush setting in suburban Brisbane. To accommodate a growing family, the brief adds additional living space and bedrooms to the 3 bedroom high set Queenslander house.