With a planted roof and a sleek-but-livable design, Edgeland House in Austin, TX, is a modern masterpiece. Designed by Bercy Chen Studio, the energy-efficient home was built into the earth, keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Even the pool – a “smart pool” – contributes energy to the geothermal heating and cooling system.
According to the designers, the house is inspired by the Native American pit house, one of the oldest types of structures built in North America. The Pit House, typically sunken, takes advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year. It’s especially poignant that the architects decided to use a Native American model for the structure, since the land it’s on is a Brownfield, reclaimed industrial land, which, of course, was originally inhabited by Native Americans. Brownfields are designated by the EPA as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” It’s remarkable that the developers were able to rehabilitate and reclaim this land.
“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,” Bercy Chen Studio LP
The architects excavated 7 feet of soil from the site, and they installed a sod roof which has been left to grow wild. In addition to its energy efficient properties, the roof gives the added benefit of hiding the residence from the road. Efficiency, beauty, and privacy, this house has it all!
Check out Bercy Chen Studio’s other remarkable works on their website.
All images property of Bercy Chen Studio LP.