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Brick: The Latest Architecture and News

Mexican Houses That Show the Many Ways to Use Bricks

© Carlos Berdejo Mandujano © César Béjar © Ricardo Rodríguez Cortesía de Ariel Valenzuela + Diego Ledesma + 12

This week we present a selection of the best images of brick houses published on our site. These 11 Mexican projects reveal the diversity of expression that architects in the country have achieved through creative arrangements of the brick modules. read on for a selection of images from prominent photographers such as Carlos Berdejo Mandujano, Onnis Luque, and Patrick Lopez.

Red Brick Country Auditorium / Huazhong University of Science and Technology + ADAP Architects

© Gangyi Tan, Jinghao Feng © Gangyi Tan, Jinghao Feng The single arch in the middle of the lane. Image © Gangyi Tan, Jinghao Feng © Gangyi Tan, Jinghao Feng + 24

Ezhou, China

In China, an Experimental Pavilion of Ceramic Bricks Fuses Craftsmanship and Digital Fabrication

Uniting the material intelligence of vernacular crafts with the precision and flexibility provided by the new digital design and manufacturing technologies, the Robotic Fabrication LAB of The Faculty of Architecture of HKU has developed the CeramicINformation Pavilion, with the objective of finding suitable levels of automation to be used for emerging and transitioning economies.

Part of an evolving series, each of its 1,000 components is unique and relates specifically to its neighboring units. The elements are constructed through 3D printing and are made of terracotta brick, a material commonly used in modern Chinese construction.

© Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange + 36

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Selected in Competition for Redevelopment of Riga Historic Quarter

The office building was inspired by the arches of the historic brewery. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
The office building was inspired by the arches of the historic brewery. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has been selected to design the redevelopment of Kimmel Quarter, a historic district in the heart of the Latvian capital of Riga, after an international competition. The 19th-century Kimmel Brewery complex, now mostly abandoned, will be transformed into a mixed-use center featuring a new office building, hotel, and an array of public facilities. Schmidt Hammer Lassen was one of eleven participants, with firms such as Henning Larsen and Zaha Hadid invited to the open competition.

The proposal for the 120,000-square-foot (11,500-square-meter) district manifests as a vibrant, public-orientated program, including a gym, child care center, café, food court, and spa. A series of courtyards and plazas are laced throughout the scheme, connecting old and new in a “timeless, classic appearance that is also uniquely contemporary.” The design took 2nd place in a competition in which no first place winner was selected, as the jury felt that no entry fully met the competition criteria. As the highest-placing entry, the competition organizers have committed to begin negotiations with Schmidt Hammer Lassen to refine the design.

Surfaces and facades are constructed from recycled brick. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Conceptual sketch. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Office terrace. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Courtyards offer a connection between old and new. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects + 19

The Intricate, Undulating Brickwork at Eladio Dieste's Cristo Obrero Church in Uruguay

Gonzalo Viramonte has released a series of photographs that focus in on the use of bricks by engineer Eladio Dieste in his Atlántida Cristo Obrero church.

Viramonte shows us the essence of the project with an artful register that places the serial yet simple material element (the brick) at the forefront. This gallery also celebrates the potential and versatility of bricks by highlighting the artfully geometric interior and exterior spaces and the apertures that allow natural light to cast upon the walls, floors, and other surfaces. 

Boarding House for an Agricultural School / Technical University of Berlin / CODE Chair Construction + Design - Ralf Pasel

© CODE + Johannes Belz © CODE + Johannes Belz © CODE + Johannes Belz © CODE + Johannes Belz + 50

Quillacollo, Bolivia

Renovation of Xi’an South Gate Plaza / China Northwest Architecture Design and Research Institute

huacheng park. Image © Chen Su
huacheng park. Image © Chen Su

miao garden east details. Image © Chen Su miao garden sunken plaza. Image © Chen Su song garden. Image © Chen Su song garden sunrise view. Image © Chen Su + 23

Space Renovation of 69 Beishan St. / The Design Institute of Landscape and Architecture China Academy of Art

Vestibule. Image © Aoguan Performance of Architecture Courtyard and entrances. Image © Aoguan Performance of Architecture Brick pattern. Image © Aoguan Performance of Architecture Courtyard facing living area. Image © Aoguan Performance of Architecture + 36

Hangzhou Shi, China

Winner Announced for Highrise Residential Tower Competition on the French Rhine

© Yam Studio
© Yam Studio

The mayor of Strasbourg, Roland Ries, has announced the winner of the architectural design competition for a residential tower. The site is located near the Rhine, within the ‘Strasbourg, Presqu’ile--Citadelle’ neighborhood -- dense with low-rises, not exceeding five levels. The winning design by KCAP Architects & Planners and OSLO Architectes is commended for its contextual sensitivity and formal relationship with Germany which sits just on the other side of the Rhine river.

This Architectural Installation Reconnects With the Senses Through Suspended Bricks

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

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

© 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'

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

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

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

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

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

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