Bricks have been one of the main construction materials all over the world for thousands of years and they have become increasingly popular in the UK over recent years. The great advantage of using brick is that it gives the possibility to create brickwork texture by designing a unique façade. By experimenting with brick patterns and projections that give buildings a unique look that provides interest whilst remaining functional and durable. Architectural enthusiasm for brickwork has resulted in some exceptional examples of how brick can create something special both in the UK and abroad.
Here are seven projects that use brickwork to create texture that has caught our attention.
1. Z53 social housing designed by Grupo Nodus and Michan Architecture
This block of social housing flats in Mexico City contains 42 flats placed in three towers. The flats are positioned around interior courtyard that gives natural ventilation to each apartment. With the use of red artisanal brick and varying projections of brick headers the architects were able to create walls that respond to shadows and light.
2. GMT Institute of Property Management by PHL Architects
This eye-catching brick building is in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, and it serves as an office building with a small cafeteria. Its uniqueness comes from the façade’s material – exposed bricks, concrete, and rusty iron. In addition to its interesting brick facade, the design allows the natural light and wind to enter the rooms freely and thus creating a light pattern in the interior and reducing the need for air-conditioning.
3.Norrtälje Mortuary by LINK arkitektur
This mortuary is a new extension to an existing hospital completed in 2015. The focus of the project was to provide a decent place for saying goodbye and to create a good working environment for staff. Both the outsides and insides of the exterior walls are clad in brick and the viewing room has a brick wall relief that uses projecting brick stretchers to enhance the pattern effect.
4. Yves Saint Laurent Museum by Studio KO
Built by Studio KO in Marrakeck, Morocco. This project was commissioned by Pierre Bergé who unfortunately passed away before the opening in 2017. The museum consists of an auditorium, a library, a bookshop, and a café with a terrace. A variety of brick details have been used to create textures like fabrics.
5. Fusion by Marlies Rohmer
Fusion is an Islamic cultural centre that usually combines Turkish and Moroccan community centres and mosques in Amsterdam. Rohmer drew inspiration from Arabic architecture, and from local examples of Brick Expressionism to create a hybrid visual language that is specific to the building. Hit and miss brickwork, soldier course brickwork and shallow relief details combine to make this building striking.
6. Brentwood School 6th form centre and assembly Hall by Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture
Taking inspiration from the polychromatic masonry used on some of the older buildings combined with influence such has Hampton Court Palace the brickwork façade wraps the building in this intricate pattern. The attention to detail is exceptional. Brick size has been considered at every corner and relief detail. The entire scheme is an exploration of what is possible with brick given the right project.
7. Casa Asorga by Sánchez Morones Arquitectos
Casa Astorga got their inspiration from Colombian architecture, which frequently uses bricks as a building material. They decided to use the brutalist style, where the materials give character to each area in the house. From the outside, the brick patterns on the façade let us see that beautiful architectural design can be achieved only with basic construction materials like brick, concrete and steel.