Residential ArchitectureHousesSignal Hill House by Bates Masi + Architects

Signal Hill House by Bates Masi + Architects

Signal Hill House by Bates Masi + Architects

Project: Signal Hill House
Architects: Bates Masi + Architects
Contractor: Merit Builders
Interior Designer: Chused & Co
Landscape Architect: LaGuardia Design Group
Location: Montauk, New York
Lot size: 4.8 acres
Building size: 6325 sq. ft.
Photo Credits: Bates Masi + Architects

In the mid 17th century early settlers of Montauk, New York established what is now the oldest working cattle ranch in America. Other ranches later emerged nearby and many remain but some have succumbed to residential subdivision. Their remnants survive today in the form of horse stables, barns, and workers’ cottages. One such cottage, a late addition built in the mid 20th century, sat near the top of a hill with almost 360º views of the nearby lake, ocean, sound, and nature preserves. Its new owners sought to maintain the existing structure’s unpretentious appearance and the pastoral landscape, while creating a larger house suiting the modern expectations of year-round living for a family of five.

Signal Hill House by Bates Masi + Architects

Signal Hill House by Bates Masi + Architects

The Signal Hill House structure references traditional livestock pens built from glacial rubble that meander through the local landscape. Its stone walls extend to the top of the first floor, organizing its spaces and providing a base for the second story. The walls carve into the sloping meadow, reducing the apparent size of the home when viewed from the exterior. Some of the walls reach out and taper into the ground, cutting strategic sightlines into the hilltop and linking the house with the pool. These apertures brighten interior spaces, provide access to the lawns and meadows, and frame views of the lake and preserves. They carry from exterior, through the interior, and back to exterior. Cabinetry and built-ins abutting the stone walls are designed as freestanding pieces to further reinforce this continuity. Sliding glass walls disappear into recesses at the central sightline overlooking the lake, providing an uninterrupted connection between east and west, sunrise and sunset.

kitchen, Bates Masi + Architects

kitchen, Bates Masi + Architects

living room, Bates Masi + Architects

Perched atop the stone walls sit two simple shingled “cottages” reminiscent of the property’s original structures. Because the first floor is largely concealed they appear as small houses lightly set on the hill when viewed from the road and driveway approach below. Accessed by independent staircases, separated by a large roof deck, and rotated with respect to one another, their arrangement optimizes views for the bedrooms contained within. The northern volume aligns east-west with the children’s rooms overlooking the lake and sound. The southern volume aligns north-south, offering the master bedroom sweeping panoramas of the nature preserves, ocean, and lake. Unlike the traditional structures they recall, both volumes have vaulted ceilings belying their petite exteriors, deferring to their form, and befitting the house’s overall scale.

stairs, Bates Masi + Architects

As the once small community has shifted from farming and fishing village to resort destination, the built environment that followed often arose with limited concern for history, scale, or sense of place. By engaging the hillside slope, focal points in the landscape, and traditional building types and materials, the design yields a house that truly feels at home, and literally grounded, in its surroundings.

bedroom, Bates Masi + Architects

Signal Hill House by Bates Masi + Architects

Signal Hill House by Bates Masi + Architects

bathroom, Bates Masi + Architects

terrace, pool, Bates Masi + Architects

Signal Hill House by Bates Masi + Architects

Signal Hill House by Bates Masi + Architects

Subscribe to our newsletter

Kinza Cafe in San Sebastian / Azovskiy Pahomova Architects

The name of the KINZA cafe displays a culinary direction, combining spices and herbs of Spain, France and Bali. It is worth paying due attention to the choice of location, since the institution is located in the corner part of the street, where there is constant traffic, and the number of people wishing to visit the new place was already considerable even during the shooting of the object.

Virgin Hotel Dallas by 5G Studio Collaborative

The new Virgin Hotel in the Dallas Design District is launching an energy and momentum for a new era of growth in Dallas, in an area that has always been known for creative culture and is now expanding as a center of modern urban living.

La Colombière Is A Refuge Perched In The Forest Reminding Us Of Bird Huts

Designed by YH2 Architecture, La Colombière is a refuge located in Sutton, Quebec, Canada. YH2 is an architectural design firm founded in 1994 by architects Marie-Claude Hamelin...

Sky Vault Penthouse, Chicago / dSPACE Studio

Sky Vault penthouse overlooks Lincoln Park. The owner obtained 4,500 sf of raw space atop a luxury high-rise and wanted an open-plan contemporary residence that maximizes expansive city and lake views.

LeanToo Cottage in Texas / Nick Deaver

Architects: Nick Deaver Project: LeanToo Cottage Project team: Nick Deaver AIA, Adam C. Melius, Jessica Deaver Location: Austin, Texas, USA Builder: Moontower Photography: Casey Dunn LeanToo Cottage was completed in 2016...

Recommended Stories