An Interview with Calvin Chen | Austin Modern Homes Tour 2016

Aside from looking and swooning over new amazing furnishings on a daily basis, I also drool and study the works of amazing architects that is shaping the feel and mood of our communities. This weekend, March 5, the Modern Homes Tour is happening again. High design is flourishing in Austin folks, thank you to innovative architecture & design brought about by visionaries & creative teams.

I caught up with Calvin Chen of Bercy Chen Studio for a quick Q & A on their featured home on the tour & what new, exciting projects are in store for them in & around Austin.

Front Exterior

1/ In your featured project for this year’s Modern Homes Tour on Townes Lane, I would imagine that the biggest challenge was building a footprint that preserved the protected root zones. Can you expound more on that & how this was achieved?

Yes, we had to work closely with the city around the CRZ. Architecturally, we wanted to optimize the massing and allow the resident to enjoy the courtyards and the mature oaks. 

interior austin modern homes tour 2016

2/ What materials were mostly used in the interior & exterior of the home to achieve the organic feel & tree-house milieu?

Lots of floor-to-ceiling glass, large multi-slide glass door to blur the inside and outside, wood floors.

3/ They say everything is bigger in Texas. How does your firm maintain the balance of building homes that are also sustainable yet with a big footprint?

We are in the service industry, we can advocate for sustainability and shrinking our footprints but ultimately the client has the final say. 

4/ How do you think the Austin building, developing & design landscape is evolving?

I think there are many local firms producing thoughtful design at a high level, the challenge is with larger scale development, sometimes they don’t have quite the same knowledge or sensitivity to the city. 

5/ What new exciting projects is your firm doing at the moment & how will it impact Austin?

We are designing 6 high tech office buildings and 4 data centers as part of the $250 million  BackYard development in Bee Cave, as well as $75 million Ethan’s View luxury town house/condo. 

http://www.ethansview.com/

We recently completed phase one of Oak Creek Village (Lucero) which includes 172 units of affordable housing. We are working on renovating phase two of the project to provide housing for homeless veterans. 

We are working on a 105 room boutique hotel in East Austin, and a hotel in Tulum, Mexico. 

We are also working on a series of new homes with the emphasis on better integration with nature, for example the Becoming Forest House, which was recently exhibited in Tokyo. The house is inspired by a surrealist Rene Magritte painting. 

 http://www.bcarc.com/Project/79

We are also working on a house in Davenport Ranch with load-bearing limestone walls. 

http://www.bcarc.com/Project/84

Back Porch ____________________________________

Thanks so much Calvin! Although my weekends usually consists of laundry & bathroom cleaning at the casa, I say, I’ll make it more exciting & inspiring this weekend. Wearing some comfortable shoes & touring with one of my gal pals, I’m ready! Here are the details:

When: March 5, 2016, 10 am to 5 pm

What: Tour these homes >>>

Buy your tickets here >>>

May your spaces scream of beauty and awe and your rooms effortlessly curated. Interior Design Austin and beyond. Design questions or dilemmas? Drop me a line! Click here >>>

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