Edgeland Residence in Colorado by Bercy Chen Studio
The Edgeland Residence was completed by the Austin based studio Bercy Chen Studio. This contemporary home is an interpretation of the Native American Pit House, built on a rehabilitated brownfield site, on the shores of the Colorado River, Colorado, USA.
Edgeland Residence is located on a rehabilitated brownfield site and is a modern re-interpretation of one of the oldest housing typologies in North America, the Native American Pit House. The Pit House, typically sunken, takes advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year.
Like this timeless dwelling, Edgeland Residence’s relationship to the landscape both in terms of approach as well as building performance involves an insulated 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. Such an architectural setting presents an opportunity for maximum energy efficiency when combined with high performance systems such as the integrated hydronic HVAC system.
The mechanical system combines: hydronic heating & cooling, geothermal heat exchange, phase-change thermal heat storage and a green roof for maximum energy efficiency. The project also features a smart pool that provides an additional thermal mass that ties into the geothermal system.
Edgeland Residence is about healing the land and ameliorating the scars of the site’s industrial past. 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.
Both visually and functionally, Edgeland Residence touches on architecture as site- specific installation art and as an extension of the landscape. The program is broken up into two separate pavilions, for the living and sleeping quarters, and requires direct contact with the outside elements to pass from one to the other. This project sets new standards for sustainability while providing great aesthetic qualities through its small footprint and integrated mechanical features.