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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

The East Village in Austin, Texas by Bercy Chen Studio LP

January 11th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Bercy Chen Studio LP

Located in the Revitalization District of East 11th Street, this vertical mixed-use project has become a unique focal point in a quickly growing neighborhood. The project includes 11 retail stores and offices, 20 residential condominiums of which 20% are affordable housing, and roof top decks accessible by all residents. The unique solar screen on the south and west facades is just one of the many aspects of the design that contributes to the 3?Star Green Building Rating. The East Village is also one of the City of Austin’s S.M.A.R.T. (Safe, Mixed-Income, Accessible, Reasonably Priced, Transit Oriented) Housing developments. The East 11th Street neighborhood in Austin has seen considerable change since 2001. Once a largely ignored portion of Austin, E. 11th Street is now home to many different retail shops, restaurants, offices, and cultural groups. The East Village seeks to capture this diversity by developing a dynamic and creative environment for its residents, combining retail shops and small commercial offices with residential units on the upper floors. On the fourth floor are two green roofs; each with a wonderful view of downtown.


Block 19 Mixed Use Development (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

  • Architect: Bercy Chen Studio LP
  • Project: The East Village
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA
  • Size: 2,591 sq m
  • Photographer: Ryan Michael

Block 19 Mixed Use Development (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

  • Builder: Bercy Chen Studio LP
  • Design Team: Fred Hubnik, Thomas Bercy, Calvin Chen, Dan Loe, Ryan Michael
  • Completion Date: June 2010
  • Cost: 4 million USD
  • Materials: Steel panels for shade, carpet made from grass, innovative weatherproofing- Zip Wall, hardwood flooring, steel structure, concrete slab, and full height low-e glass

This diagram illustrates the various features and cultural inspirations for Block 19. From the structure of the green roof, views to downtown and a reference to the work of Hel io Oiticica, Block 19 is rich with urban amenities and cultural significance (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

The design of the building incorporates modest materials in creative and dynamic ways. The entire ground level consists of full height glass mounted in front of a steel structure. This gives the illusion of the entire building floating on cubes of glass. To further enhance the visual ‘lightness‘ of the building, the entrance to the site is under a long span steel truss that supports 2 stories of residential units across a 65 ft span. The upper south and west facades are shielded from the hot Texas sun with a multifaceted steel panel screen which double as a shading device and guardrails for the residential balconies.


Interior view (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

Instead of relying on expensive, high maintenance green ‘gadgets‘, The East Village showcases the architect’s incorporation of sustainability into the fundamentals of the building. In addition to the steel sunscreen, features such as insulated Low-E glazing, recycled and recyclable materials, no VOC paint, R?19 insulated walls, R?30 insulated roof, passive insect control, construction waste recycling, and low impact native landscaping all work together to make The East Village a healthy building for the residents and the community.


Exterior View (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

The East Village adheres to New Urbanism principles by providing the local community with a safe, mixed-Income, accessible, reasonably priced, and transit oriented setting.  A central garden is accessible to all residents and surrounding community.  In addition to being walking distance to downtown Austin, The East Village is on a direct bus line to downtown and also within walking distance to the light rail.  Additionally, this project participates in Austin Car Share.


Exterior View (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

The East Village project seeks to restore a thriving mix of uses and activities along the East 11th Street corridors by providing amenities to attract people to the area. It provides a connection between individuals and historical East 11th street by considering the culture and values of residents. The democratic design of the building is conducive to maintaining cultural harmony by a combination of mixed-uses and its unique urban setting.

The west facade of Block 19 (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

The East Village features solar screens and a green roof, earning the project a 3?Star Green Building Rating. In addition, other sustainable features include: low-e glazing, recycled and recyclable materials, construction waste recycling, passive insect control, and low impact native landscaping.

The East Village facilitates the connection between individuals and the historical East 11th street by considering client’s culture and values. The design of the building is inherently democratic and conducive to maintaining cultural harmony by providing: accessible green roofs, 20% affordable housing, astonishing views of the State Capital building and Moon tower.


Bird eye view (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

Functional elements such as solar shade become objects of art and the defining aspects of the building. In addition, a xeriscaped landscape comprised of native plants provides a beautiful, low-impact setting. Small retail units emphasize diversity instead of a single large tenant. This has allowed many local retailers to open hair salons, art galleries, clothing boutiques, and coffee shops. Subsequently, the building has become a community gathering point.


Bird eye view (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

The west facade of Block 19 (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

A view of Block 19 from the southwest (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

View of Block 19 from the southwest (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

The west facade of Block 19 (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

Side view (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

View of Block 19 from the southwest (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

Night view (Images Courtesy Ryan Michael)

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Category: Mixed use

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