Bergheim House

Bergheim, Texas
Program: Off Grid Residence
Designed 2009

Rain in the hill country of texas can dramatically transform this landscape of oak trees and lime stone. A fast moving storm bringing 6" of rain in an hour can change from a dry land into flash flood. From these rains the natural limestone depressions of the landscape fill with water that result in seasonal ponds that draw the wildlife in the area. These interrelation of place to wildlife are the key influences for the Bergheim residence. An interest in watching wildlife led to siting the house over a intermittent streamed with views to a connecting pond. A parallel goal of living more environmentally responsible lives inspired the simple formal expression of a zig-zag roof that provides for specific rainwater drainage into underground catchments for domestic water use, and a covered parking area that doubles as the mounting location for a photovoltaic array. The house is organized by the separation of support spaces in the the southern volume from northern volume which has the views towards the pond. Passive cooling occurs through operable windows that allow for cross breezes from south to north through the house.