Unusual Home Bercy Chen

Modernism meets traditional environmental systems in this elegant dwelling seemingly sliced into the ground around it, drawing on geothermal advantages without forcing its residents entirely below the surface. Dubbed the Edgeland Residence, this unusual home by Bercy Chen Studio rehabilitates an existing brownfield site and “takes advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year” with 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.”

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
Unusual Home Bercy Chen pool
Unusual Home Bercy Chen middle

The residence is composed of two primary volumes on either side of an artificial void – one side for daytime activities (living, cooking and so forth) and the other for nighttime (sleeping), oriented based on the trajectory of the sun through the sky.

Unusual Home Bercy Chen green roof
Unusual Home Bercy Chen grassy

Beyond bringing back an historic American architectural typology based on passive systems, the project also renews the local ecology: “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.”

Unusual Home Bercy Chen interior
Unusual Home Bercy Chen glass walls

Contemporary systems extend tradition and environmentalism, including an “integrated hydronic HVAC system” that combine “hydronic heating and a green roof for maximum energy efficiency.”

About Bercy Chen Studio

Founded in 2001 by partners Thomas Bercy and Calvin Chen. Bercy Chen Studio LP is an architecture and urban planning practice with design/build capabilities headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in Taipei and Mexico City.  Bercy Chen Studio LP employs over 20 architects, designers, construction managers and craftsmen, with diverse backgrounds and experience necessary to successfully guide projects from inception to completion.”

Unusual Home Bercy Chen after dark

We collaborate closely with our clients, consultants and experts from a wide range of disciplines and realize innovative projects based on environmentally sustainable and financially viable business models in both public and private sectors.”