In architecture, split-level houses are typically in response to a plot's uneven or sloping topography. In the case of the houses featured here, their split level interiors are a matter of function, allowing spaces to be virtually separated by dividing them between raised and semi-subterranean floor layouts. For example, adjoining two spaces with a 50cm step up or drop off allows for separation without the use of walls or other physical barriers.
Gustavo Sosa Pinilla
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.
The wide range in which pieces of masonry can be arranged allows for multiple spatial configurations. Born in a furnace, the brick adorns and reinforces, protects and—to various degrees—brings natural light into spaces that need slight, natural illumination.
Throughout history, traditional brick-laying consisted of predetermined arrangement of parts, and lines of rope to guide the consistency and placement of each individual brick. But there are many other ways to exploit this multi-faceted, timeless material, so we've selected 16 projects that demonstrate the potential of the humble brick.
Below find 16 construction details from projects that use bricks in ingenious ways.