Green as Texas Pastures – Cascading Creek House by Bercy Chen
One would probably not expect to discover a gem of green house design in Texas, but Bercy Chen Studio’s Cascading Creek House proves it is possible. The home is a sprawling V-shaped ultra-modern mansion located on a vast expanse of green land. Its interiors are fresh, full of contemporary, upbeat details that shape and enhance its personality. The main façade, looking out onto the vast domain, is mostly dressed in window glazing, to allow light to flow in freely, as well as give the tenants a great view. The most impressive features of the house, however, are its energy-efficient characteristics, the ‘star’ of which is the roof, designed to collect rainwater. Water then flows down into a reflective pool, creating a manmade cascade that gives the house its name.
Additional sustainable features of this great green house design include a water, electricity and heat harvesting system deployed on the roof. The resources are then fed into an extensive climate conditioning mechanism powered by water source heat pumps and radiant loops, which heat and cool the home. This system is connected to geothermal underground loops, to pools and to water features which make the home almost completely independent from electricity and gas suppliers. Each of the home’s wings ends in a cantilevered roof supported by a single column. The space thus freed up allows most exterior walls to be fully glazed, thus offering “generous views of the pool deck and the wooded silhouettes of the Texas Hill Country beyond”. Integrating so much contemporary technology in such an elegant design is definitely a great feat of current architecture.