Paul Masi has mastered the art of coastal modernism, all while maintaining a keen focus on the needs of his discerning clientele. The world renowned architect, who counts The Hamptons as his full time home base, sat down to answer our questions about his iconic homes, his standout masterpieces that include his own residence, and his coveted retrospective, Bespoke Home.
Tell us about how you got your start as an architect.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time on the East End and was exposed to quality architecture. My parents, both of whom are artists, embraced design and creativity not only in their own home but in friend’s homes as well.
In particular, one of their closest friends built a unique home and as a young child I was able to see firsthand how your experience of living could be changed by the environment you’re living in. This started me down the pathway toward architecture.
How did you hone in on your unique style of architecture?
Our firm is focused more on craft than a single style in our work. Our methodology focuses on the history and context of each site, as well as building science and how materials go together.
Can you walk us through the process of designing a home with a client? What does it entail from start to finish?
I’m not sure this is a short answer. Designing a home begins with the client’s needs and the property, then our firm spends several weeks researching the surrounding area, materials, and craft a unique architectural language that is specific to the project and its environment.
Once the design is approved by the client, we move forward with a contractor and continue to design the interior details and finishes throughout construction, ensuring the final project fits the design intent. The attention to all elements of design has been a constant in the firm’s philosophy.
Each property is obviously a labor of love. How does it feel to hand off the keys to a finished masterpiece?
The clients are involved throughout the design process and construction so it doesn’t ever feel like we had the keys to hand off.
We are always very excited to receive feedback from our clients after they have spent time in the home.
I’m sure it’s like picking a favorite child, but are there any homes that stand out to you as your favorite creations?
Each project is so unique from one another, it is difficult to choose a favorite. If I had to choose, Elizabeth II, my own home, is one of my favorites.
Tell us about Bespoke Home! When did you feel ready to produce a portfolio of your work to share with the world?
Bespoke Home came about when we were nominated for the Cooper Hewitt Design Award and needed to create a comprehensive portfolio of our work for the judges to review. During this process we were approached by a publisher who was interested in publishing a book of our work and the pieces fell into place.
Bespoke Home is a carefully selected collection of our work and we are very happy with the response it is receiving.
You’ve built a significant following through social media. Has this become a tool to find new clientele?
Social media is a great tool to reach clients around the world.
Is your own home created within your same signature style? How did you tailor the perfect design for your own lifestyle?
Yes, my home can be viewed on our website. It is called Elizabeth II.
When you’re not designing and building beautiful homes, how do you relax and unwind?
Spend time with my family, surf, and snowboard.