Lion’s Head / Bates Masi Architects

Courtesy of Bates Masi Architects

Located in , and situated on a narrow property atop a bluff overlooking Gardiner’s Bay, Lion’s Head replaces a vacation home shared by two brothers and their families for over 25 years before it was destroyed by fire.  Since originally building on the site, new regulations have been established and the families have grown in size. The new structure responds to these needs while preserving and enhancing the casual summertime lifestyle long enjoyed by its owners.  More photographs and drawings of Lion’s Head by Bates Masi Architects following the break.

Architects: Bates Masi Architects
Location: East Hampton, New York, USA
Builder: Karl Avallone Builder
Structural Engineer: Steven L. Maresca
Project Area: 3,500 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of Bates Masi Architects

Courtesy of Bates Masi Architects

The house is composed of two simple taut volumes clad in durable slate tiles and a weathering wood with naturally water-resistant tannins and oils. The public and private living areas are in the waterside volume, all with spectacular views and access to the beach.

Courtesy of Bates Masi Architects

Circulation, baths, and utilities are in the landward volume overlooking the pool. By offsetting the volumes vertically and horizontally, the surface area of the compact design increases, allowing for more windows to admit light and westerly breezes. This slippage also creates intimate outdoor spaces for bathing, entertaining, and dining.

site plan

Each volume is a deep frame, providing privacy from neighboring properties and leaving the east and west facades transparent for unobstructed views and seamless transitions between inside and outside. The frames are opened-up at their ends to create spaces that defy the conventional distinctions between indoors and outdoors. At the roof deck, portions of the ceiling and upper walls are omitted to create an “outdoor room” open to the sky and the view, yet more contiguous with the interior than a conventional deck or terrace. The screened porch is similarly opened to the elements while remaining integrated with the sequence of interior rooms. The frames direct attention away from the house to the water views and surrounding landscape, further easing the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces.  By carefully intertwining spaces and materials with the landscape, the design creates an environment that the family will continue to enjoy for many years to come.

first floor plan
Cite: "Lion’s Head / Bates Masi Architects" 07 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Holcim Awards US

    I love the framed views and the relationship between interior and exterior spaces. The use of natural materials is also excellent.

  • April

    A fine and subtle play of forms skillfully composed. The house has a quiet dignity that belies it’s small size. What a refreshing change from the pretentious gimmickry of Hadid, Eisenman, Libeskind and the other poseur charlatans masquerading as architects these days.

  • Ramón

    Please, can you inform me the kitchen pavement? It’s natural stone? Wich name?