Designed by architecture firm Bercy Chen for a sci-fi novelist client, the Edgeland House merges Utopian futurism with Native American building techniques. The result is a contemporary home that borrows from the past while looking squarely into the future.
The Edgeland House is sunken in a grassy clearing on a rehabilitated brownfield site, in a space that was previously occupied by an old pipeline. “Nestling the house in the excavation and covering it with a green roof completed the site remediation,” says firm co-principal Thomas Bercy.
Partially submerged seven feet underground, the design riffs on the Native American "Pit House," a sunken dwelling that takes advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year. “We were interested in reinterpreting this ancient typology in the 21st century,” Bercy explains. An insulative green roof, spanning the home's entire footprint, further contributes to the home's passive temperature control. Meanwhile, a hydronic heating system loops into a buried geothermal pump and enhances the structure’s thermal storage capabilities.
The home's form is characterized by folding planes and angled walls arranged on a plan that looks like a small spaceship. A narrow path splits the house in two, with the bedrooms and baths occupying one side and the kitchen and living room on the other. A small smart pool, which uses diamond electrodes instead of chlorine to clean the water, completes the sci-fi reference.