Northwest Harbor by Bates Masi Architects

Northwest Harbor

Northwest Harbor is a private residence completed by East Hampton-based Bates Masi Architects. The house is located in East Hampton, NY, United States.

Project description: Straddling freshwater wetlands and a tidal estuary just six feet above sea level, this house’s site demands extraordinary sensitivity to environmental concerns. Local zoning restricts the structure’s maximum coverage and proximity to wetlands areas, while Fema requirements set the first floor structure above the base flood elevation. The house’s basic massing is therefore predetermined, limited to a one story, 1,900 square foot design, raised eight feet above the ground. The spaces within this envelope are arranged, articulated, and fenestrated based on an innovative structural system that infuses the house’s inner areas with light and circulating air.

Northwest Harbor 2

Whereas most waterfront construction uses pilings to establish an artificial ground plane upon which a conventional house is built, in this project these structural members are integral: 16 exposed, glue-laminated piles stake out the enclosing walls for each of the three bedrooms and extend continuously from the ground through the roof.

Northwest Harbor 2

The spaces between these piles house “utility” functions: closet, desk, laundry, pantry, and shower compartment. In addition to these conventional utilities, three vertical voids are opened between the piles to serve the spaces around them.

Northwest Harbor 3

Without occupying any of the limited allowed coverage, these open areas add considerable value by improving the house’s interior environmental quality and diminishing its impact on the local environment. The benefit is threefold: each opening draws light though the interior spaces to the carport below, conducts rainwater from the roof deck to the ground via integral downspouts carved into the piles, and ventilates by siphoning air through the middle of the structure.

Northwest Harbor 4

At the roof the projecting piles divide the space between a deck directly coinciding with the living areas below and a modular planting system installed above each bedroom to reduce runoff. The projecting piles also serve as supports for photovoltaics that power geothermal pumps, utilizing the abundance of high ground water to heat and cool the house. At the ground level, the space below the house is utilized for parking and storage to minimize the footprint on the site.

Northwest Harbor 5

By allowing voids to permeate through the house, the owners have multiple visual connections to the landscape from below, within and above the house, encouraging a sense of place.

Architects: Bates Masi Architects
Project: Northwest Harbor
Location: East Hampton, New York, United States
Structural Engineer: Steven L. Maresca
Area 1895.0 ft2 / 176sqm
Photography: Bates Masi Architects

Northwest Harbor 6

Northwest Harbor 7

Northwest Harbor 8

Northwest Harbor 9

Northwest Harbor 10

Northwest Harbor 11

Northwest Harbor 13

Thank you for reading this article!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

The Bletchley Loft by Rural Building Company

The Bletchley Loft is a modern two-storey house designed by Rural Building Company in Perth, Australia. Description by Rural Building Company: The Bletchley Loft takes...

30 sqm apartment in Paris renovated by Richard Guilbault

This apartment of 30 square meters from Paris was initially divided into two parts on length, which was making it difficult to use and...

XX Century Patio-Apartment Refurbished and Adapted to Mediterranean Climate

This early XX century patio-apartment presents the opportunity to reformulate the dwelling's conditions, adapted to Mediterranean climate, in the urban density of Gracia’s district.

Through House by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

Through House is a family home refurbished by the Toronto-based Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.