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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CASE STUDY Tetra House AUSTIN, TEXAS DESIGNERS: Thomas Bercy and Viraj Mehta, Bercy Chen Studio, Austin, Texas BUILDER: Richard White, Abode Modern Home Building, Austin PROJECT SIZE: 2,800 square feet SITE SIZE: .165 Acres CONSTRUCTION COST: Withheld PHOTOGRAPHY: Paul Bardagiy Photography KEY PRODUCTS RANGE: Wolf REFRIGERATOR: Sub-Zero COUNTERS: Silestone SINKS/FAUCETS: Kohler, Brizio, Hansgrohe LIGHTING: Flos TILE: Heath Ceramics, Fireclay Tile PAINT: Sherwin-Williams Above: Bercy Chen rotated the plan 30 degrees to capture Austin skyline views and provide more privacy for the house from neighbors. Right: Site-assembled window walls and tricks of roof line, ceiling height, and lighting make the house appear much taller than it is. to further shield the house from passersby. "Rotating the footprint to a 30-degree angle makes the house much more dynamic, and the views are great. In Austin, the topography starts rising as you move away from the river," Thomas explains. Like Lissitsky's work, the palette is pared down to just a few strong elements: concrete, wood, and glass. Board-formed concrete walls on the first floor give the appearance of a plinth for the floating wooden boxes above. "There's an integral color in the concrete that came out a kind of taupe color— almost like rammed earth," notes Viraj. "We're interested in the heaviness, the massiveness of ma- sonry bearing walls," says Thomas. "And we like to contrast them with lightness. The concrete base came from the influ- ence of Mexican modernist bases." The glass and cedar boxes above provide that lighter effect, which the team enhanced in several ways. "The wood used to form the concrete was repurposed for the siding above," says Viraj, to give it an instant weathered character. And then, says Thomas, Richard's crew applied a sealer that also oxidizes and silvers the tongue-and-groove boards. The earthy colors resemble the indigenous Texas soils, while the glass cools their sunbaked visage. See Change The geometry of the boxes creates a compelling interplay at street level, but what isn't obvious are a series of raised clerestory flat roofs at selected perimeters that manipulate perception both outside and inside the house. From the outside of the house, they emphasize vertical planes, making them appear taller than the bulk of the roof structure really is. Inside, they abut the glass walls, giving the impression of soaring height throughout the interiors, even though most ceilings are just 9 feet high. LED strip uplighting S4TH STREET 36 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 2, 2017

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