Austin Modern Homes Tour 2017 | 5 Things to Know about 2800 San Juan

The Austin architectural landscape is as diverse as they come — from traditional homes to Tuscan villas in & around the Lake, from mid-century modern homes to French chateaus, but the ones making waves are the clean lines with both aesthetic & sustainable sensibilities. This weekend, brace yourself for another awe-inspiring Austin Modern Homes Tour.

Living Room 2800 San Juan Austin

Last Thursday, I met with the Design-Build team for one of the projects featured in the tour, 2800 San Juan. It’s easy to be intimidated by award-winning & internationally acclaimed architects but Thomas {Bercy} & Sasha of Bercy Chen Studio is as Austin-friendly as they come. The site visit was both enlightening as it was educational. If you are attending {and you better!}, you must make it a point to check out the property. Here are 5 Things to Know about the Property:

1/ There are 2 homes built opposite each other, each one symmetrical in plan and design but the other one rotated at 90 degrees.

2/ The homes are built for outdoor living. There are open vistas bleeding to a view of the neighboring house creating a “borrowed” and Zen-like landscape as well as the rest of the hill country on the horizon. Which really begs the question, aren’t we all intertwined and interconnected? If you didn’t notice, I was getting a tad political there for a second.

3/ They built a contrast between the upstairs & the downstairs, case in point, there is dark stained concrete floors downstairs & upstairs are white {and bleached some more} oak floors. Walls are thinner upstairs {look for the indention} than downstairs. According to Sasha, “we want the downstairs to read as a carved out piece so we decided to go with a thicker material on the lower level so it would read as a block that was being carved out with the courtyards.”

A mix of materials, Corten Steel + Stucco Base & bleached, white oak floors {no it's not a typo}

A mix of materials, Corten Steel + Stucco Base & bleached, white oak floors {no it’s not a typo}

4/ There is beauty in imperfection. Look for their take on Wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetics of the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The oxidation of Corten steel to the stucco base creates an imperfection that’s impermanent & incomplete, continually evolving and yes, imperfectly perfect!

5/ The mix of materials is a study of different cultures. The structure itself is a take on the artistry & sculptures of Mexican artist, Yazpik — thick stucco base at the bottom, thin Corten steels for the top. The outdoor living space upstairs has Brazilian Massaranduba floors unmistakable for it’s rich red hue. The perforated steel inspired by Moroccan shapes & cutouts. The cabinets are European. White oak floors are so Scandinavian & the Lueder limestone in the bathrooms, well, it’s from Lueder, Texas. Of course, there’s the Japanese influence {wabi-sabi} and the Zen-like courtyards. Look also for the beautiful Walnut kitchen cabinet doors, custom made in Austin. So, I would say that’s 6 cultures all together, 7 if you consider the Texan culture as distinct {and it is, right?}.

Walnut Kitchen Cabinet Doors 2800 San Juan Austin

Photos by Andrea Calo

Thank you so much Sasha & Thomas!

Architecture is more than meets the eye, guys! When you go on the tour, step into the minds of the architects, feel the materials, look for inspiration and revel in the beauty that Modern Architecture in Austin has to offer.

Peek inside Austin’s most coveted contemporary homes and explore throughout: 

3201 Sunny Lane, Austin, TX 78731 (Riverside Homes LLC)

1207 E. 13th Street, Austin, TX 78702 (Verde Builders Custom Homes)

1705 Collier Street, Austin, TX 78704 (Studio Momentum Architects)*

2111 De Verne Street, Austin, TX 78704 (Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture)*

2804 S. 4th Street, Austin, TX 78704 (Bercy Chen Studio LP)*

2003 De Verne Street, Austin, TX 78704 (Steve Zagorski Architect)

4911 Timberline Drive, Austin, TX 78746 (Bade Stageberg Cox)

1606 Salina Street, Austin, TX 78702 (Newcastle Homes)

1608 Salina Street, Austin, TX 78702 (Newcastle Homes)

3306 Lakeside Drive, Austin, TX 78723 (Thurman Homes)^

2800 San Juan Drive, Austin, TX 78733 (The Value of Architecture, Bercy Chen Studio LP)*^

5111 Crestway Drive, Austin, TX 78731 (Grey Raven LLC)^

2207 Townes Lane, Austin, TX 78703 (Winn Wittman Architecture)*^

Get your map and get your tix HERE >>>. And because I’m feeling extra generous, get $5 off with this discount code, MAUREEN2017.

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 >>>