Architects: Bercy Chen Studio
Project: Edgeland House
Design Team: Thomas Bercy, Calvin Chen, Dan Loe, Ryan Michael, Brad Purrington, Agustina Rodriguez
Location: Austin, Texas, United States
Photography: Paul Bardagjy, Dave Mead
Edgeland House is a private residence designed by Bercy Chen Studio in Austin, Texas. The Edgeland House is commissioned by a science fiction writer enthralled with 21st century human habitation in the urban frontiers of abandoned industrial zones.
In an increasingly generic and de-natured world, we are interested in producing architecture tuned to the specificity of a place. Edgeland House 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, the Edgeland House’s insulative green roof and 7‐foot excavation into the ground, keeps it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The mechanical system combines: hydronic heating and a green roof for maximum energy efficiency.
Edgeland House 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 the opposite side of the site.
Both visually and functionally, Edgeland House touches on architecture as site‐specific installation art and as an extension of the landscape. The program is broken up into two separate pavilions, 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.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center collaborated to reintroduce over 40 native species of plants and wildflowers to the Edgeland House green roof and site, serving to help protect the local ecosystem.