This Austin, Texas residence, the Bercy Chen Studio Edgeland House, by is not only stunning to look at in terms of architectural design and interior styling, but it’s a project that also takes the environment, landscape and local plant life into consideration.
Bercy Chen Studio Edgeland House
The Edgeland residence (also called the Edge Land House) is a concrete, steel and glass 1400 sf residence located in Austin, Texas near Town Lake. The project touches on architecture as site-specific installation art and as an extension of the landscape. As with many of Bercy Chen Studio’s designs, the influence is often drawn from vernacular precedents of various cultures. While the essence of the project is conversant with a Native American Pit House, the roof form has been largely influenced by the ancient art of origami.
The modern home’s design integrates hydronic heating and cooling, geothermal heat exchange, phase-change thermal heat storage, rainwater collection, a smart pool that provides an additional thermal mass that ties into the geothermal system and an integrated living green roof.
The house’s relationship to the landscape both in terms of approach as well as building performance references the oldest housing typology in North America; the pit house. Like a pit house, the house will undergo a 7-foot excavation gaining benefits from the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year. Such architectural settings create opportunities for maximum energy efficiency using a proposed Integrated Hydronic HVAC system.
The seasonal wildflowers planted on the roof were done in conjunction with The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas.
The planting of the roof:
Images of the construction and structural framework:
The triangular smart pool can be used for swimming and provides an additional thermal mass that ties into the geothermal system.
Text from the architecture firm:
Edgeland Residence is located on a rehabilitated brownfield site and is a modern re‐interpretation of one of the oldest housing typologies in North America, the Native American Pit House. The Pit House, typically sunken, takes advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year. Like this timeless dwelling, Edgeland Residence’s relationship to the landscape both in terms of approach as well as building performance involves an insulative green roof and a 7‐foot excavation‐ gaining benefits from the earth’s mass to help it stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Such an architectural setting presents an opportunity for maximum energy efficiency when combined with high performance systems such as the integrated hydronic HVAC system. The mechanical system combines: hydronic heating and a green roof for maximum energy efficiency.
Edgeland Residence is about healing the land and ameliorating the scars of the site’s industrial past. The project raises awareness about a diminishing natural landscape and its finite resources by creating a balance between the surrounding industrial zone and the natural river residing on opposite side of the site.
Both visually and functionally, Edgeland Residence touches on architecture as site‐specific installation art and as an extension of the landscape. The program is broken up into two separate pavilions, for the living and sleeping quarters, and requires direct contact with the outside elements to pass from one to the other. This project sets new standards for sustainability while providing great aesthetic qualities through its small footprint and integrated mechanical features.
all images and info courtesy of Bercy Chen Studio
Bercy Chen Studio is an architecture & urban planning firm with design/build capabilities based in Austin, Texas founded in 2001 by partners Thomas Bercy and Calvin Chen