Designed by Bercy Chen Studio, the South Fourth Street House is a 3000 square-foot single-family residence located in the lively neighborhood of South Austin, Texas. The house is designed to be inward-looking, centered around a small, intimate courtyard containing a pool and a gravel garden with Japanese maple trees.
Inspired by the constructivist paintings of El Lissitzky, the house is envisioned as a series of volumes and surfaces that are layered and intersecting, but never quite coinciding. This has the effect of both minimizing the presence of the house along the streetscape and creating a series of strategic vantage points within and around the house.
Central to the concept is a material play of concrete and wood. As such, the design consists of a ‘plinth’ of sorts of poured-in-place concrete walls arranged as axial datum lines to partition the site. The upper level, in turn, consists of floating wood boxes that in composition and texture play off the concrete walls below. Glazing functions to weave between the two material striations.