Rehabilitating Old Industrial Scars with Green Design

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A Modern Take on the Native American Pit House

 

The Edgeland House is an unusually shaped house built into a rehabilitated brownfield site in Austin, Texas. The project was designed by Bercy Chen Studio, and features a modern interpretation of traditional Native American pit houses. The structure is built right into the earth with a thick layer of sod blanketing the house. It keeps itself warm in the winter and cooler in the summer without too much dependence on artificial heating/cooling sources. Along with the natural advantages of the design, it also boasts some high-tech features, ensuring a stable, comfortable temperature throughout the living area. The rigid geometric shape and clean design of the house is a nod to its’ industrial past as the remnants of an excavation site to remove a Chevron pipeline. 

 “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.

The green roofs shelter areas of the house from the sun, and at the same time helps in restoring the natural slope to aid in bringing wildlife back. In collaboration with the Lady Bird Wildflower Center, Bercy Chen Studio reintroduced more than forty native wildflower and grass species to the local ecosystem. The Edgeland House is designed to be a site‐specific installation art that also functions as an extension of the natural landscape. The house is split into two separate areas, one for the living and one for the sleeping quarters. Moving through the two spaces requires interaction with the outside, instilling a greater sense of connection to nature in an urban setting. This development provides great aesthetic qualities at the same time pushes for greener, sustainable, design choices through its small environmental footprint and integrated mechanical features. Take a look through these photos and tell us what you think on our Facebook Page!

 

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