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Brick

This Architectural Installation Reconnects With the Senses Through Suspended Bricks

08:00 - 18 August, 2017
This Architectural Installation Reconnects With the Senses Through Suspended Bricks, © Amir Ali Ghafari
© Amir Ali Ghafari

A design by Ashari Architects for an architectural installation in Iran is a direct response to the need to reconnect with the senses. 

The project, a pavilion built from a cube that holds a suspended brick volume, shows the potential of the use of this material by creating distinct atmospheres. 

2017 Brick in Architecture Award Winners Announced

16:00 - 10 August, 2017
2017 Brick in Architecture Award Winners Announced

The Brick Industry Association (BIA) has announced the winners of the 2017 Brick in Architecture Awards, given to “the country’s most visionary projects incorporating fired-clay brick.” This year, 35 projects from 19 states were selected as winners, with a best in-class project awarded across eight categories: Commercial, Educational (Higher Education), Educational (K-12), Renovation / Restoration, Municipal/Government, Residential (Multifamily), Residential (Single Family) and Paving & Landscape.

“The winners demonstrate brick’s aesthetic flexibility, and its integral role in any sustainable, low maintenance and durable building strategy,” said Ray Leonhard, BIA’s president and CEO.

See the Best and Class winners below.

Artist Alex Chinneck Installs Ripped Brick Facade on London Building

12:30 - 2 August, 2017
© Faruk Pinjo
© Faruk Pinjo

The work of artist Alex Chinneck is grounded in architecture. From melting buildings to a slumping facade to a structure ripped in half and hovering, Chinneck’s work plays with the expectation of materials and tectonics, resulting in captivating mind-bending illusions. His latest work (and first permanent sculpture), Six Pins and Half a Dozen Needles, continues this exploration, taking the form of a large brick wall ripped down the center.

© Faruk Pinjo © Faruk Pinjo © Faruk Pinjo © Faruk Pinjo +7

VTN Architects' Brick Training Complex Will Create Its Own Microclimate Using 'Sky Walks'

11:15 - 24 July, 2017
VTN Architects' Brick Training Complex Will Create Its Own Microclimate Using 'Sky Walks', Courtesy of VTN Architects
Courtesy of VTN Architects

VTN Architects has revealed plans for a new training complex for Vietnam’s largest mobile network operator located within a training center campus at Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, 30 km outside of the capital city of Hanoi. Currently under construction, the Viettel Academy Education Center has been designed as a “cooling microclimate” with short-term residential accommodation aimed at creating a quiet, peaceful space for the company’s new trainees to focus on their studies away from the distraction of the city.

Courtesy of VTN Architects Courtesy of VTN Architects Courtesy of VTN Architects Courtesy of VTN Architects +11

How Earthbags and Glass Bottles Can 'Build' a Community

06:00 - 20 July, 2017

A design by C-re-a.i.d. for a Maasai village in northern Tanzania, is a morphological response to the imposed need to settle, using sustainable, local and accessible materials to redefine its construction culture.

The project is built by a series of earthbags and glass bottles that in addition to generating private and comfortable spaces, allow a quick and easy construction.

Workshop in Italy Constructs Rammed Earth Structures to Rescue Constructive Traditions

14:00 - 16 July, 2017
Workshop in Italy Constructs Rammed Earth Structures to Rescue Constructive Traditions, © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international
© Elettra Melani, Building Trust international

In a 12-day workshop, Building Trust International and Terraepaglia joined the Ciuffelli Agricultural Technical Institute in Todi, Italy, with the aim of exploring a series of construction techniques with raw soil. In addition to producing earth bricks and rammed earth structures -in collaboration with experts such as Eliana Baglioni and Pouya Khazaeli-, a curved wall was erected with a wooden structure and a cane framework, on which a massive layer of earth and straw was spread.

The activity generated a series of internal spaces as a kind of laboratory, to show the construction methods and the materials in situ.

© Elettra Melani, Building Trust international © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international © Elettra Melani, Building Trust international +11

Innovative and Beautiful Uses of Brick: The Best Photos of the Week

07:00 - 16 July, 2017

It can't be denied that architects love brick. The material is popular both for its warmth and for the diversity of expressions that can be achieved by applying it in a creative way—depending on the arrangement of individual bricks or the combination of bonds, it’s possible to arrive at a result that is both original and attractive. That ingenuity is what photographers like Hiroyuki Oki, Gustavo Sosa Pinilla, and François Brix, among others, have attempted to capture in their photographs. In these images, light is a key element of good composition, allowing the photographers to control the intensity of color and the contrast of masses and voids, as well as enhancing the incredible textures of the brick we love so much.

© Courtesy of Atelier Alter © Photographix © Trieu Chien © Su Shengliang +11

AD Classics: Red House / William Morris and Philip Webb

04:30 - 16 June, 2017
AD Classics: Red House / William Morris and Philip Webb, The L-shaped footprint of the building allows it to focus in on the garden. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Gabrielle Ludlow (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
The L-shaped footprint of the building allows it to focus in on the garden. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Gabrielle Ludlow (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In the heart of a suburb just east of London stands an incongruous red brick villa. With its pointed arched window frames and towering chimneys, the house was designed to appear  like a relic of the Middle Ages. In reality, its vintage dates to the 1860’s. This is Red House, the Arts and Crafts home of artist William Morris and his family. Built as a rebuttal to an increasingly industrialized age, Red House’s message has been both diminished by the passage of time and, over the course of the centuries, been cast in greater relief against its context.

This stained glass window, depicting Love and Hate, was one of many designed by friends and family of William Morris throughout Red House. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user KotomiCreations (licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0) The painted front door is undeniably medieval in character; the stained glass window panes are not original. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user KotomiCreations (licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0) Courtesy of Flickr user KotomiCreations (licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0) The L-shaped footprint of the building allows it to focus in on the garden. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Gabrielle Ludlow (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) +14

This Hand-Laid Brick Feature Wall Was Inspired by Soundwaves in Water

12:30 - 21 May, 2017
This Hand-Laid Brick Feature Wall Was Inspired by Soundwaves in Water, © 22quadrat gmbh
© 22quadrat gmbh

German architecture firm 22quadrat was inspired by the visual effect created by soundwaves moving through water when designing “impulses,” a brick relief wall in the interior courtyard of the Pallotti Residential Complex in Freising, Germany. The architects derived the concept from a metaphor; a single brick is like a single particle, hardly noticeable on its own but capable of much greater impact when combined with others.

© 22quadrat gmbh © 22quadrat gmbh © 22quadrat gmbh © 22quadrat gmbh +19

Catalan Church Restored Using Ingenious Tensioning System

12:00 - 14 May, 2017
Catalan Church Restored Using Ingenious Tensioning System, © Santi Prats i Rocavert
© Santi Prats i Rocavert

The object of this architectural restoration is the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Vistabella, the work of Catalan architect Josep Maria Jujol (16 September 1879 – 1 May 1949). The original design dates from 1917 with the construction completed in 1923. The building is a magnificent and personal work of Catalan architecture.

The simplicity of the materials used—basically brick, mortar, and stone—contrasts with the spectacular formal richness of the structural solutions: columns, arches, and vaults that generate a complex, rich, and surreal interior space typical of the mysticism of Jujol.

© Santi Prats i Rocavert   © Santi Prats i Rocavert   © Santi Prats i Rocavert   © Santi Prats i Rocavert   +23

12 Dynamic Buildings in South Korea Pushing the Brick Envelope

08:00 - 30 April, 2017

Bricks are as old as the hills. An enduring element of architectural construction, brick has been a material of choice as far back as 7000BC. Through the centuries, bricks have built ancient empires in Turkey, Egypt, Rome and Greece. Exposed stock brick came to define the Georgian era, with thousands of red brick terraces still lining the streets of cities such as London, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Today, brick is experiencing a Renaissance. Architectural landmarks across the world such as Frank Gehry’s Dr Chau Chak Wing Building in Sydney and the Tate Modern Switch House by Herzog & de Meuron are pushing the proverbial brick envelope, redefining how the material can be used and perceived.

South Korea presents an interesting case for the changing face of brick, with a preference for dark, grey masonry striking a heavy, brutalist, yet playful tone. Like many countries, South Korean brick architecture has questioned conformity, experimenting with stepped, perforated, permeable facades, and dynamic, curved, flowing walls. Below, we have rounded up 12 of their most interesting results.

Easily Reproducible Disaster Relief Constructions in Bamboo

08:00 - 17 April, 2017
Easily Reproducible Disaster Relief Constructions in Bamboo, Cortesía de rOOtstudio
Cortesía de rOOtstudio

In 2015, after the catastrophic earthquake in Nepal, Maria da Paz invited Joao Boto Caeiro from RootStudio to design and build a model house in Nepal. Using local and accessible materials, they built two prototype houses out of bamboo and partitions, via a collaboration between locals and volunteers that came to the region.

The prototypes respond to the need for housing that is able to be built quickly with the goal of providing independence and immediate shelter, while at the same time introducing basic building techniques using bamboo and bricks. In doing so, they're able to create a set of tools that allow for future construction that the community can make themselves.

Cortesía de rOOtstudio Cortesía de rOOtstudio Cortesía de rOOtstudio Cortesía de rOOtstudio +20

Call for Entries: 2017 Brick in Architecture Awards

19:30 - 8 March, 2017
Call for Entries: 2017 Brick in Architecture Awards, Enter the 2017 Brick in Architecture Awards competition by April 30.
Enter the 2017 Brick in Architecture Awards competition by April 30.

The Brick Industry Association (BIA) has opened its call for entries for the 2017 Brick in Architecture Awards, the country’s premiere architectural design competition featuring clay brick.

BIA’s annual awards honor outstanding, innovative and sustainable architecture in 10 categories that incorporate clay brick products as the predominant exterior building or paving material.

Entries must be submitted online by April 30. Projects will be judged by a jury of peers, and the winners will be announced in June.

The Simplicity of Iranian Architecture's Complex Geometry

09:30 - 17 February, 2017
The Simplicity of Iranian Architecture's Complex Geometry, © Ariana Zilliacus
© Ariana Zilliacus

Iran’s geography consists largely of a central desert plateau, surrounded by mountain ranges. Due to the country being mostly covered by earth, sand, and rock, Iranian architecture makes fantastic use of brick or adobe elements. Most of the buildings seen in larger cities such as Tehran and Isfahan are constructed using similar brick-laying methods as can been seen in other parts of the world, but certain constructions, usually ones that date further back, contain incredible geometrical treasures. And it doesn’t stop there - old Iranian architecture often contains a layer of tiles over the brick constructions that can create just as mesmerizing geometrical wonders. The art of creating complexity by using many incredibly simple elements is one that has been mastered in Iran. In an architectural world where construction has become hidden by layers of plaster and plywood, we could learn a lot from the beauty of Iran’s structural geometry, where skin and structure are (almost always) one and the same.

© Ariana Zilliacus © Ariana Zilliacus © Ariana Zilliacus © Ariana Zilliacus +37

Architecture Initiative Transforms Derelict Brutalist Northampton Landmark into Mixed-Use Academy

08:00 - 5 February, 2017
Architecture Initiative Transforms Derelict Brutalist Northampton Landmark into Mixed-Use Academy, Proposed public plaza at night. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Proposed public plaza at night. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative

London-based firm Architecture Initiative has released updates of their mixed-use scheme set to transform a neglected brutalist building in Northampton, England. The Northampton International Academy, currently an abandoned Royal Mail sorting office, will be centered around educational, commercial, and community use. The scheme aims to address a need for school places in a manner which contributes to the economic regeneration of the local area.

Public plaza and facilities. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative Voids allow natural light deep into the building. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative Existing concrete structure is retained. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative Work began on site in September 2016. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative +22

Henley Halebrown Releases New Images of Mixed Use School in London

06:00 - 30 January, 2017
Henley Halebrown Releases New Images of Mixed Use School in London, Looking east along Downham Road. Image Courtesy of Henley Halebrown
Looking east along Downham Road. Image Courtesy of Henley Halebrown

Henley Halebrown has released updates for their proposed mixed-use scheme in Hackney, London. 333 Kingland Road, previously occupied by a fire station, will soon be home to the Hackney New Primary School, commercial units, and dual aspect apartments. The scheme aims to address a need for school places and homes in London and to maintain a connection between learning and living in a dense urban environment.

The central school courtyard. Image Courtesy of Henley Halebrown Model of school entrance. Image Courtesy of Henley Halebrown Looking east along Downham Road. Image Courtesy of Henley Halebrown Looking south along Kingsland Road. Image Courtesy of Henley Halebrown +15

The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

08:00 - 15 January, 2017
The 10 Best Global* Architecture Projects of 2016 (*Asia, Africa and South America Not Excluded)

As the common phrase attests, “history is written by the victors.” We therefore know that the story of the West is that of Europe and the United States, while the other actors in world history are minimized or invisible: it happened to the Chinese and Japanese during World War II, to the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth-century Europe, and to racial majorities in the common reading of Latin American independence. The same thing happens in architecture.

The current boom of the Global South is based not only on new work, but rather on the recognition of an invisible architecture which was apparently not worthy of publication in the journals of the 1990s. The world stage has changed, with the emergence of a humanity that is decentralized yet local; globalized, yet heterogeneous; accelerated, yet unbalanced. There are no longer red and blue countries, but a wide variety of colors, exploding like a Pollock painting.

This serves as a preamble to consider the outstanding projects of 2016 according to the British critic Oliver Wainwright, whose map of the world appears to extend from New York in the West to Oslo in the East, with the exception of Birzeit in Palestine. The Global South represents more than 40% of the global economy and already includes most of the world’s megacities, yet has no architecture worthy of recognition? We wanted to highlight the following projects in order to expand the western-centric world view, enabling us to truly comprehend the extent of architectural innovation on a global scale.

16 Materials Every Architect Needs to Know (And Where to Learn About Them)

16:00 - 14 January, 2017
16 Materials Every Architect Needs to Know (And Where to Learn About Them)

A building’s materiality is what our bodies make direct contact with; the cold metal handle, the warm wooden wall, and the hard glass window would all create an entirely different atmosphere if they were, say, a hard glass handle, a cold metal wall and a warm wooden window (which with KTH’s new translucent wood, is not as absurd as it might sound). Materiality is of just as much importance as form, function and location—or rather, inseparable from all three.

Here we’ve compiled a selection of 16 materials that should be part of the design vocabulary of all architects, ranging from the very familiar (such as concrete and steel) to materials which may be unknown for some of our readers, as well as links to comprehensive resources to learn more about many of them.