Edgeland House / Bercy Chen Studio

© Paul Bardagjy

Architects: Bercy Chen Studio
Location: Austin, , USA
Design Team: Thomas Bercy, Calvin Chen, Dan Loe, Ryan Michael, Brad Purrington, Agustina Rodriguez
Area: 1,400 sq ft
Year: 2012
Photographs: Paul Bardagjy

© Paul Bardagjy

In an increasingly generic and de-natured world, we are interested in producing architecture tuned to the specificity of a place. The Edgeland residence is commissioned by a science fiction writer enthralled with 21st century human habitation in the urban frontiers of abandoned industrial zones.

© Paul Bardagjy

Not unlike Col Charles Goodnight’s first dug out at the JA ranch in 19th century Texas, the design is inspired by the vernacular of the “pit house”, one of the oldest housing typology in North America used by Native Americans through the ages.

© Paul Bardagjy

This brownfield reclaim project minimized disturbance to the site, as the previous excavations to remove an old Chevron pipeline left a scar on the bluff, the two new green roofed wings sheltering each other from the sun is an attempt to heal the land by restoring the slope and bring wildlife back.

© Paul Bardagjy

This approach addresses the climate of central Texas and utilize thermal capacity of earth to regulate temperature,  while the linear courtyard down the center allows fresh air to flow between the  bluff and the river below. The courtyard is a theater for observing migrating humming birds,  monarch butterflies, even ant colonies…etc,  heightening one’s awareness of nature in an urban setting.

Exploded Axon

We collaborated with the Lady Bird Wildflower Center to reintroduce over 40 native species of wildflowers and grass to preserve the local ecosystem.

Cite: "Edgeland House / Bercy Chen Studio" 13 Feb 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=331677>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    Bravo! I usually prefer to add more, but really all I can say is: Bravo!

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    looks a bit like BIGs forest crematorium… but still a great house! i especially like the innovative room concept with those two seperate living areas…

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    Definitely an interesting use of site, as well as the layout, dividing it into 2 separate areas w/ different enclosures. The graphics behind the section and elevation drawings do a good job of selling the idea.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    I am in love! This really beautiful, soulful, intelligent, rational, serene. . . I can’t say enough. Thank you for the pleasure.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    beautiful idea, come to nature without showing any harsh. But green roof maybe not just an artificial things anymore

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Reminds me strongly of Emilio Ambasz – Casa di retrio espiritual, if I am not wrong he designed it in 70′s.

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