Edgeland House, Bercy Chen Studio, earth sheltered house, Austin, earth-bermed house

The form of the home itself is shaped like a scar, perhaps commenting on the site’s industrial past, while the lush sod represents healing. According to the architects, the home is a modern reinterpretation of the Native American pit house, which is one of the oldest types of housing used in North America. Like a traditional pit house, the Edgeland House is built below grade, and it takes advantage of the earth’s thermal mass for more efficient heating and cooling.

Edgeland House, Bercy Chen Studio, earth sheltered house, Austin, earth-bermed house

In order to build the house, the architects excavated 7 feet of soil from the site, and they installed a lush green roof. The home also features a “smart pool,” which provides additional thermal mass that ties into the geothermal heating and cooling system. “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,” according to a statement from Bercy Chen Studio LP.

+ Bercy Chen Studio LP

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Photos © Bercy Chen Studio