Residential Design

Vol. 2, 2017

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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typical 40 or 50 feet of street frontage, this lot had 70 feet and still offered 100 or so feet of depth. After 12 years of building both custom and speculative housing, he understood immedi- ately that the extra elbow room could result in a satisfying, compelling, and therefore highly marketable new house. That last point is important. Even though Richard fully in- tended to buy and develop this lot as his own family house, he knew there would come a time—probably sooner rather than later—when he would want to make his profit and move on to the next project. Because, after all, that's what his business, Abode Modern Home Building, does. The other essential characteristic of Abode is that it prefers to build architect- designed houses, whether on behalf of a custom client or at its own behest for speculative projects. "I don't take a custom home on unless there's an architect involved," says Richard. "I need the support." Richard has other support as well. He works alongside his father, Richard senior, who is a second-generation Austin builder and a trained engineer. After a brief notion he might become a dentist, Richard felt the inevitable draw to the family profession. Oh, and handily, there's a Realtor in the family, too. Richard has worked with quite a few of Austin's talented residential architects, including Dick Clark, FAIA, Michael Hsu, AIA, and Kevin Alter. When it came time to design his own house, he reached out to Bercy Chen, a design-led design/ build firm. "Because we're also builders and developers, other builders understand we know how design efficiently and cooperate collaboratively," says Thomas Bercy. Above: Carefully orchestrated horizontals (board-formed concrete walls) and verticals (the walnut built-ins) energize the central living, kitchen, dining space. CASE STUDY 32 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 2, 2017

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