Bespoke Home – Bates Masi Architects : Book Review

Bespoke Home – Bates Masi Architects : Book Review


Hi, Eric here with 30X40 Design Workshop,
today I’m going to be reviewing Bespoke Home. It’s a book about Bates Masi architects, it
has an introduction by Paul Goldberger and it’s about 287 pages long. It’s a beautiful monograph; let’s get right
into it. The architecture of Bates Masi is thoroughly
modern and contextually responsive, drawing inspiration from agrarian forms and the raw
materials of building: tobacco barns, farmsteads, concrete, stone, steel and wood. The delight is in the assemblage of these
materials, the care taken to both invoke emotion and develop the greatest effect from the fewest
gestures. Waterjet cut steel traces shadows across the
face of the Sagaponak house. A wine collection provides the structure and
form of an entire wall of a dining area. A simple planar deck viewed from afar becomes
a variegated, tartan planked boardwalk under foot. The depth of material exploration is striking. Models of a stainless steel clip system reveal
the care and craft Bates/Masi invests in such a seemingly simple detail. Yet these details are what make the projects
so interesting and they’re repeated throughout; inside as a cabinetry detail, outside as a
means for blind fastening the planks to the wall. When layered on simple but strong conceptual
underpinnings the work is restrained yet confident. These explorations are clearly funded by an
elite class of homeowner, whom we can thank and hope the bespoke architectural inventions
they finance propagate and are able to inspire those who can only afford a more mass-produced
architecture. So the book’s strengths in my opinion are
its full page, beautiful, rich photographic spreads, and large imagery. This is why you purchase an architectural
monograph, to keep from pinch-zooming on your phone. The book indulges one’s desire to inspect
the details closely and the space to learn about their inspiration. If I had a complaint, it would be a lack of
diversity of architectural documentation and information. As an architect design process and construction
consume immense intellectual resources so to see it missing in favor of the carefully
staged final image feels out of character with the depth of study I know must have been
invested in such a compelling work. The book would benefit from the inclusion
of more drawings, sketches, details, sections, and a closer look at their finely crafted
models. However, I do feel the monograph lives up
to its namesake – a bespoke object – worthy of display and continued reference for both
modernists and fans of Bates Masi’s work. The book retails for $35 on Amazon and the
links are below in the description.


3 thoughts on “Bespoke Home – Bates Masi Architects : Book Review

  1. I really like your reviews. I mainly stayed with your chanel for the insparation and things I can learn from you material wise (in the process of building a home). Still all of your videos are of decent quality. Thank you.

  2. Beautiful channel. I am so inspired by literally every single one of your videos — especially your sketching ones! Question: Do you have any recommendations for beautiful books on sustainable architecture and interior design? Thank you!

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