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Past, Present and Future: Brick Architecture in Texas, Kansas, and Illinois

Past, Present and Future: Brick Architecture in Texas, Kansas, and Illinois

Today, architects and builders have a multiplicity of options when it comes to specifying their cladding materials, having to balance their design vision with the user's requirements. In addition to the aesthetics and character of the chosen product, it is always important to verify its durability, low maintenance and long-term sustainability. The brick, widely used throughout the world, is not only recyclable and highly resistant to threats such as fire, wind and moisture, but also presents great ease of use, low cost, and high versatility in terms of sizes, shapes, colors and textures.

Showcasing the flexibility of the material, Heartland Brick has selected six notable and award-winning brick projects located in Texas, Kansas, and Illinois, ranging from its most classical use in arches and columns to its most modern and minimalist application, including an impressive mural of sculpted bricks. A lasting legacy for its designers and citizens, and an ongoing inspiration for the contractors and architects of the future.

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University of Kansas Medical Center Health Education Building (Kansas City, Kansas). Image © Bill Timmerman

Globe Life Field
Arlington, Texas

This striking 40,000-seat retractable roof stadium design makes large and high-tech feel intimate and nostalgic. Globe Life Field incorporates soaring brick arches to form an indoor/outdoor colonnade that extends outward sculpturally to support the roof’s sliding track. In terms of drama, the retractable roof is a distant second to the brickwork that supports it.

Brick Manufacturer: Acme Brick Company
Architect: HKS Inc (Design architect, Architect of Record)
Associate Architect: VLK Architects
Mason: DMG Masonry
Photographer: Louis E. Curtis Jr., Spencer Martinez

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Globe Life Field (Arlington, Texas). Image © Louis E. Curtis Jr., Spencer Martinez
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Globe Life Field (Arlington, Texas). Image © Louis E. Curtis Jr., Spencer Martinez

Cloud County Historical Museum
Concordia, Kansas

The sculpted, carved-brick mural adorning the Cloud County Historical Museum in Concordia, Kansas clocks in at 140’ by 20’, and is touted as the longest of its kind in the US. As both a cladding material and a piece of public art that tells a story of the history of north-central Kansas, brick delivered outsized benefits to this small community—a testament to the versatility and value of fired clay brick.

Brick Manufacturer: Cloud Ceramics/Kansas Brick & Tile
Designer/Sculptor: Catharine Magel, Mara Smith
Mason: David Fleming, Fleming Masonry Construction

Past, Present and Future: Brick Architecture in Texas, Kansas, and Illinois - Image 6 of 18
Cloud County Historical Museum (Concordia, Kansas). Image © Brick Industry Association
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Cloud County Historical Museum (Concordia, Kansas). Image © Brick Industry Association

K-8 Replacement School
Skokie, Illinois

The K-8 Replacement School demonstrates how good design communicates a set of values in addition to providing shelter. Two colors of brick in both horizontal and vertical arrangements evoke the earth and trees of the forest surrounding the school. Punched-out windows on the lower levels provide a feeling of security, while the envelope of exterior masonry protecting the students represents solidity and the value the community places on children’s education.

Brick Manufacturer: Endicott Clay Products Company
Brick Distributor: Illinois Brick Company
Architect: STR Partners LLC
Mason: Mastership Construction Company Inc.
Photographer: Christopher Barrett Photography

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K-8 Replacement School (Skokie, Illinois). Image © Christopher Barrett Photography
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K-8 Replacement School (Skokie, Illinois). Image © Christopher Barrett Photography

St. Martha’s Catholic Church
Porter, Texas

When parishioners of St. Martha’s Catholic Church in Porter, Texas said they wanted a “church that looks like a church,” Turner Duran Architects responded with a 40,000 square foot design that called on fired clay brick for its familiarity and permanence. On the inside, though, the structure needed to function within the contemporary Roman Catholic liturgy. Brick cladding provides the perfect segue with the mass of brick masonry on the exterior gradually giving way to stone and wood inside through a brick main entrance.

Brick Manufacturer: Hebron Brick
Architect: Turner Duran Architects
Mason: WINCO Masonry, Inc.

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St. Martha’s Catholic Church (Porter, Texas). Image © Brick Industry Association
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St. Martha’s Catholic Church (Porter, Texas). Image © Brick Industry Association

University of Kansas Medical Center Health Education Building
Kansas City, Kansas

Designers of the Health Education Building sought to establish a new connective hub and front door to the campus, while also integrating the structure among predominantly brick buildings that were already on campus. To do so, they worked carefully to derive a blend of brick colors that balanced the varied tonality of existing campus brick. The contemporary Health Education Building artfully balances brick, glass and metal to create an iconic presence that stands out, yet fits in perfectly.

Brick Manufacturer: Sioux City Brick (A Premier Division of Glen Gery Corporation)
Architect: CO Architects
Mason: Five Stair Masonry
Photographer: Bill Timmerman

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University of Kansas Medical Center Health Education Building (Kansas City, Kansas). Image © Bill Timmerman
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University of Kansas Medical Center Health Education Building (Kansas City, Kansas). Image © Bill Timmerman

Grapevine Main
Grapevine, Texas

A modern twist on grand, historic train stations, Grapevine Main commuter rail station makes extensive use of clay brick to capture the charm of the past in distinctly fresh structures. Brick color and texture combinations from Yankee Hill Brick are used on each component of the complex, giving the development an overall feel of a collection of individual structures. A variety of bond patterns and generous facade articulation prevents the complex from blurring into a single large mass by drawing the eye to beautiful masonry details. Grapevine Main successfully establishes a major landmark that fits seamlessly into the adjacent historic architecture.

Brick Manufacturer: Yankee Hill Brick
Architect: Architexas
Masons: DMG Masonry, Skinner Masonry

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Grapevine Main (Grapevine, Texas). Image © Brick Industry Association

To learn more about these projects and Heartland Brick click here.

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Cite: "Past, Present and Future: Brick Architecture in Texas, Kansas, and Illinois" 07 Jun 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/962216/past-present-and-future-brick-architecture-in-texas-kansas-and-illinois> ISSN 0719-8884
Globe Life Field (Arlington, Texas). Image © Louis E. Curtis Jr., Spencer Martinez

从过去到未来,美国三州的砖砌建筑

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