Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Annie Residence in AUSTIN, TEXAS by Bercy Chen Studio
November 17th, 2015 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Bercy Chen Studio
The house is located in south austin on a small infill lot. it was built for two families and therefore is split into two living areas. the house consists of two pavilions connected by a glass hallway.
The house is a certified city of austin green building project and scored 3 star out of the highest possible 5 star rating. sustainable principles of design are incorporated throughout.
Each pavilion contains a central core made of steel stud frame covered with 3/8” blue or red acrylic panels. these cores contain all the service areas of the house such as bathrooms, kitchens, utilities, and storage rooms to maximize efficiency. concentrating most of the plumbing, heating & cooling and electrical systems avoids losing capacity through excessive turns.
One pavilion contains two bedrooms and one bath while the other contains the rest of the program. each volume is placed against the side setback of the property creating a central water garden in-between.
The house is constructed of a modular steel frame. the frame is infilled with prefab thermasteel panels to minimize construction on site waste. the structural frame is exposed, showing the construction process and articulating the house’s facades. the repetitive modular method as well as the prefabrication allows for greater efficiency during construction. the 2nd floor in one of the pavilions is a viereendeel truss which acts like a bridge and minimizes the number of vertical structural supports in the 1st floor.
The reflecting pool becomes the focal point and all sides of the house open onto it. the walls against the sides of the property are closed, creating a courtyard layout. the two parts of the house are staggered to create a deck area in the front as well as a more private outdoor living area in the back, visually united by the translucent glass bridge.
The orientation of the house is that of a partial courtyard. With the western wall constructed of insulated SIPS panel the internal walls are free to be open. This allows the majority of the cooling load to be handled with passive natural ventilation. An existing deciduous tree in the center of the ‘court’ provides shade during the summer and allows precious winter light to enter after leaves have fallen. The southern glass façade is covered via a combination of vegetation and a wooden trellis, providing a perfect balance of openness and protection.
The front yard is xeriscaped with sage, rosemary and oleanders, requiring no water for irrigation. Rainwater from the roof is captured and used for a water garden, which in turn, cools the house both physically and psychologically.
the flat roofs allow for terrace spaces which creates additional outdoor areas for plants and alfresco dining. the roof space is covered with a retractable awning made of shading tarp for nurseries and hardware from the nautical industry.
The house is influenced by different regions and cultures. both the use of the roof as an outdoor living space and the shading devices are derived from moorish architecture. the body of water and the spatial continuity between inside and outside was inspired by asian architecture. the structural transparency of the volumes and the minimalist aspect of the interior was derived from japanese pavilions.
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