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Brick: The Latest Architecture and News

The Versatility and Structural Integrity of Extra-Long Brick Finish

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When creating a contemporary atmosphere for living, many factors come into play. The surrounding environment, its climate, use of materials, spatial organization, and the attention to detail in both the interior and exterior design, all impact the quality of the design as a whole.

Is It Possible To Create Lightweight Bricks By Recycling Cigarette Butts?

Students at the School of Engineering, RMIT University recently published a study experimenting with a new form of waste management and recycling. As they note in their research, cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded single waste item in the world, with an estimated 5.7 trillion having been consumed around the globe in 2016. However, the materials in cigarette butts—particularly their cellulose acetate filters—can be extremely harmful to the environment due to poor biodegradability. The RMIT study builds on a previous research study by Mohajerani et. al (2016) that experimented with adding discarded cigarette butts to clay bricks for architectural use. In their research, the RMIT students found that such a measure would reduce the energy consumption of the brick production process and lower the thermal conductivity of the bricks, but that other issues including bacterial contamination would have to be addressed prior to successful implementation. Below, we explore this research in more detail, investigating its relevance to the architecture industry and imagining possible futures of application.

Sweet Simplicity: Living with Scandinavian Architecture

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Not a month goes by without Danish architects and Danish design in the news, as design seems to be one of the primary exports from the tiny Scandinavian country. To be fair, the attention isn't a bad thing. Denmark has a rich heritage of furniture designers and architects who have transformed spatial thinking around the world. Some thoughts were so “BIG,” that they envisioned inhabiting the moon or making plans for a Masterplanet. 

Beyond Face Value of Face Brick: Thin Brick, Fire Resistance, and Aesthetics

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You probably see brick on a daily basis, whether it’s structuring a building, paving the road, or perhaps serving as a fireplace or chimney. But do all these applications use the same type of brick? How are the bricks supporting or being supported? What are these bricks actually made of? Brick’s versatility and ubiquitous nature mean there’s more than one answer to these questions. Even among brick’s most common applications as a building facade and/or structural wall material, there are a variety of types and construction methods employed.

Brick Ceilings Create New Architectural Possibilities

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Cuisine, culture, sightseeing, and engaging with the locals are all reasons people like to travel. The common factor that draws us to explore new places, however, is simply the chance to experience cities and landscapes unlike our own familiar surroundings. For example, when Chinese tourists can again visit Copenhagen, they may admire the waterside capital’s winding bike paths, lush green parks, and the Scandinavian brick traditions on display in Nyhavn. Likewise, a Danish tourist would surely be blown away by the breathtaking scale of Beijing, with it’s 9 million+ bicycles and the display of ancient Chinese culture juxtaposed with modern society.

Brick Award 20: A Tribute to High Quality Brick Architecture

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For almost two decades, Wienerberger AG has been hosting the international Brick Award every two years, providing a stage for excellent brick architecture and its architects. Architects from all over the world showcase their innovative concepts with ceramic materials: 644 projects from 55 countries have been submitted for this year's award. The winners of the Brick Award 20 impressed the jury with bold and creative architectural concepts for sustainable and forward-looking spaces.

The Catalan Vault in Spanish Architecture: 15 Projects that Are Breathing New Life into An Old Technique

Casa JASB / Alessia Scardamaglia. Image © Nuria VilaCasa Tomás / LAB + Pepe Gascon. Image © José HeviaBeats / Nook architects + byn studio. Image © Nieve | Productora AudiovisualKaikaya / Masquespacio. Image © Luis Beltran+ 16

In some cases, a roof can become the shining centerpiece in a work of architecture. Catalan vault, also known as Valencian timbrel vault, became a fixture in Spanish architecture in the 19th century, popularized thanks to its low cost and ease of sourcing and assembly. With the ability to span over 30m per module, this technique is currently making a comeback, establishing itself as a go-to construction method in industrial architecture and can be seen in everything including workshops, factories, and warehouses.

The Colors of Brick

Morovian Church / 70F Architecture. Image © Luuk KramerHVM House / M2.senos. Image © Ivo TavaresBlack Volcano / Urban Mesh Design. Image © Charles HoseaMaria Montessori Mazatlán School / EPArquitectos + Estudio Macías Peredo. Image © Onnis Luque+ 48

Brick is one of the most popular materials for architects designing with a vintage or rustic aesthetic: exposed brick walls are often touted as highly desirable for apartments, restaurants, and stores, and exterior brick facades can make a building or home feel warmer and more inviting. However, the color and cut of the brick can greatly influence the atmosphere it emanates, with white brick lending itself to more minimalist design and tan brick tending to feel more rustic and earthy. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular brick colors, ways to artificially color brick, and recent projects that use brick facades or interior brick elements effectively.

The Contemporary Remodelling of Traditional Materials in Chinese Vernacular Architecture

Constrained by a lack of transportation and resources, vernacular architecture has started adapting the distinct strategy of utilizing local materials. By analyzing projects which have successfully incorporated these features into their design, this article gives an overview of how traditional materials, such as tiles, metal, rocks, bamboo, wooden sticks, timber, rammed earth and bricks are being transformed through vernacular architecture in China.

Recycling Brick Constructions in the UK: 14 Building Restorations and Extensions

© Andrew Meredith© Nigel Rigden© Ben Pipe© Nicholas Worley+ 15

The use of brick plays a very important role in the architectural history of the United Kingdom. Construction techniques that involve brick and stone have been in constant progress. In fact, brick production improved over time, making the material the most popular one in the construction industry. From the 18th century onwards, brickwork was predominantly used in domestic and industrial architecture, but later on, it was introduced to the structure of warehouses and factories, as well as other various forms of infrastructure.

While many of these buildings are still operating to this day, it comes as no surprise. Refurbishment and reuse are highly recommended techniques, and in many cases, the only methods to maintain densely populated European cities. Therefore, the challenge lays in reusing these buildings and recycling the materials available, always trying to retain as much of the original structure as possible.

11 Colombian Houses That Feature Exposed Brick

Brick is one of the most widely used materials in Colombia, making the architectural designs in its capital city, Bogotá, stand out worldwide. Due to the excellent quality of the clay found in some regions of the country, brick is used in all aspects of construction, from adobe floor slabs to exterior facades.

Innovation and Collaboration in Brick Design Blends Past and Present

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It is a rare occasion for a historic neighborhood to have new buildings. Never the less, this is exactly what happened along the elegant and ornate structures of Frederiksberg Allé in Copenhagen. The historical avenue was inspired by Parisian architecture and features many buildings notable for their intricate architectural detail. 

© Andreas Mikkel© Andreas Mikkel© Andreas Mikkel© Andreas Mikkel+ 9

Marc Thorpe Proposes Houses for the Workers of Moroso on the Outskirts of Dakar Senegal

Marc Thorpe, New York-based architect and multidisciplinary studio, has designed the Dakar Houses for the workers of Moroso M’Afrique furniture collection. Located on the outskirts of the Senegalese capital in West Africa, the prototype houses are made from earth bricks.

Courtesy of Marc Thorpe DesignCourtesy of Marc Thorpe DesignCourtesy of Marc Thorpe DesignCourtesy of Marc Thorpe Design+ 8

Long Format Bricks: Shaping Distinctive Facades

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As one of the oldest building materials, dating back to at least 7500 BCE, brick is often thought of as a traditional, classic option for a building facade. Throughout its long history, however, the brick industry has changed and modernized to remain architecturally relevant. Innovations in brick construction continue to provide new opportunities for designs that combine the warmth and character of a natural material with the efficiency and aesthetics of a modern building. 

Bygdøynesveien. Image © Randers TeglFredrikstad office. Image © Randers TeglMosevænget. Image © Randers TeglEufemia. Image © Randers Tegl+ 19

ArchDaily's Best Articles about Brick

ArchDaily has created a list of best articles, news and projects that address everything you need to know about brick.

9 Projects that Demonstrate the Versatility of Brick Floor

Often recognized as one of the most widespread constructive materials in the world, brick is, with no doubts, very versatile, low-cost and easily applied. Although it usually used in vertical surfaces, it also presents excellent properties when applied to horizontal ones, like floors.

Per Kirkeby: Public Sculptures that Commemorate Nothing but Their Surroundings

The interview Per Kirkeby: "We Build Upon Ruins" published on Louisiana Channel not only showcases the colorful canvases of the Danish painter, sculptor, filmmaker, and writer, but also his own reflections on the importance of surroundings that "give us so much baggage." It's this very idea that Kirkeby brings to his brick sculpture displays, where something simple and sometimes useful puts aside inaccessible conceptualism to pay homage to the surroundings rather than the sculptures themselves.