Mothersill: A Vacation Home Inspired by the Boardwalk

If you’re looking for the beach house of your dreams, Bates Masi Architects are definitely the people to see. The Hamptons-based firm has knocked it out once again with Mothersill, a creek-front property in Water Mill, New York.


Common to most any beach area, you’ll see elevated wooden walkways hovering above the grounds, and those boardwalks help create a clear path when faced with a rocky landscape. This simple element is what inspired the design of this project, using it as an architectural component to intertwine portions of a historic site with a new building and the surrounding, natural landscape.

The site of Mothersill features two structures built in 1962, a small house and studio, designed by Andrew Geller, along with a diverse mix of plants, including rare specimens. Connecting the two structures is a boardwalk, common to his work. This part of the property is protected by a conservation easement, keeping the structures, Yew garden, and over 400,000 Siberian Iris’ safe, while allowing for a new main house to be built.


The boardwalk connects the three buildings, one of which (the Geller House) was relocated to the Yew garden and the Geller Studio, which has become the new pool house. Parts of the path are shaded and parts expand out to create outdoor seating areas in different spots.




The new home’s interior brings the wood indoors with wooden floors and ceilings.


Large windows help frame the lush landscape that surrounds the property.




In this bathroom, you can shower indoors or out!





Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.