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Bricks: The Latest Architecture and News

From Stone Walls to Skyscrapers: Understanding Structural Masonry

The Monadnock Building in Chicago began construction in 1891 and is still in use today. The building features a somber facade without ornamentation and a colossal height - at the time - of 16 floors. It is considered the first skyscraper built in structural masonry, with ceramic bricks and a granite base. To support the entire load of the building, the structural walls on the ground floor are 1.8 meters thick, and at the top, 46 centimeters. One hundred and thirty years later, this construction system remains common and allows for the erection of taller buildings with much thinner walls, accomplishing even new architectural works economically and rationally. But what is structural masonry about, and how can designers use it in architectural projects? And for what kinds of buildings is this system most suitable?

What Are Refractory Bricks and What Are They For?

Ranging from yellow, to gray, to traditional red and orange, bricks are ubiquitous in many of our cities and widely used in construction. Briefly, the manufacturing process of traditional bricks involves molding clay and firing it in ovens, facilitating the creation of solid blocks, perforated blocks, cobogós, tiles, and other shapes. Ceramic bricks are inexpensive; easy to find; boast strong resistance, thermal inertia, and finish; and do not require such specialized labor for construction. But if the installation is done near sources of high heat, the common brick will end up cracking and breaking, making refractory bricks more suitable. But what does that mean?

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.

How were the Walls of Roman Buildings Constructed?

At the apogee of the Roman Empire, its territory extended over more than five million square kilometers, between Europe, Asia, and Africa. Rome exercised power over a population of more than 70 million people, which equated to roughly 21% of the world population at the time. In fact, as we have already shown in another article, all roads led to the city of Rome. The great seat of the empire and the material and immaterial heritage left by it is immeasurable, and even today researchers seek to understand its full impact on the current world. From the beginning of its expansion in the 6th century BC until its fall in the year 476 AD, the legacy left by the Romans encompasses areas such as law, plastic arts, Latin (which originated many different languages), systems of government, and, importantly, architecture.

13 Residential Projects that Use Raw Brick Facades

Rotation, displacement, and interleaving of blocks are some of the options that enable the diversity of raw brick patterns in architecture. The shape of these elements, usually used for the construction of walls, has been explored in a creative way to compose facades of residential buildings, representing the formal identity of the building itself and its relationship with its context.

Brick by Brick: Rethinking Masonry Construction in Iran

Iran’s architecture has long been rooted in Persian culture. From tea houses and pavilions to domestic huts and elaborate mosques, the country’s built environment is tied to these influences, as well as the landscape and its broader context. At the heart of Iran’s more recent projects is a desire to reinterpret history through new spaces and forms.

© Parham Taghioff© Parham TaghioffCourtesy of Farshad Mehdizadeh Architects + Ahmad Bathaei© Parham Taghioff+ 21

This Brick Arch Installation Dissolves in the Rain to Leave a Mortar Skeleton

Sometimes known as the “Island of the Gods,” Jeju Island in South Korea is characterized by its volcanic rock, stunning waterfalls, and warm, tropical climate. Here, life is integrated with nature and the architecture is in harmony with the landscape. Dissolving Arch, a weather-specific installation by stpmj, responds to the island’s tropical environment. The structure began life as a solid brick vault, which then slowly dissolved in the hot and rainy periods of Jeju to produce a light, porous skeleton made of the remaining mortar which connects people with nature.

© EH(Kyoungtae Kim) + stpmj© EH(Kyoungtae Kim) + stpmj© EH(Kyoungtae Kim) + stpmj© EH(Kyoungtae Kim) + stpmj+ 20

SR32 Residence / HARDT Planejamento

© Jefferson Carollo Filho© Jefferson Carollo Filho© Jefferson Carollo Filho© Jefferson Carollo Filho+ 44

Curitiba, Brazil
  • Architects: HARDT Planejamento
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  305
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Bronpi Calefacción, Dometal, Madeiras Monte Claros, O Quintaleiro, V Martins

Quinta da Baroneza House / Estúdio Penha

© Marcelo Magnani© Marcelo Magnani© Marcelo Magnani© Marcelo Magnani+ 32

Bragança Paulista, Brazil
  • Architects: Estúdio Penha
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  650
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2014

Leisure Pavilion / Bruno Rossi Arquitetos

© André Scarpa© André Scarpa© André Scarpa© André Scarpa+ 27

Santo Antônio de Posse, Brazil
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  175
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Ladrilar, Personal Refrigeração, reka iluminacao

CM House / Arquea Arquitetos

© Federico Cairoli© Federico Cairoli© Federico Cairoli© Federico Cairoli+ 25

  • Architects: Arquea Arquitetos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  293
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Deplako, Marcenaria Fogaci, Olaria Dois Irmãos, Tecnica Máquinas, Toninho Esquadrias

Eaves House / Zoom Urbanismo Arquitetura e Design

São Paulo, Brazil
  • Architects: Zoom Urbanismo, Arquitetura e Design
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  4843 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Bosch, AF Vidros, Carpintería, Empreiteira NJL, Granitorre, +11

University of Mpumalanga / GAPP Architects & Urban Designers

© Tristan McLaren© GAPP Architects & Urban Designers© Tristan McLaren© Tristan McLaren+ 27

The World's First Zero-Waste Bio-Brick is Grown from Human Urine

Courtesy of University of Cape Town
Courtesy of University of Cape Town

Some years ago, researchers in the United States previously tested the concept of using synthetic urine-based substances to fabricate building materials. However, new research conducted by Masters student Suzanne Lambert at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, puts forth a zero-waste process of producing urine-based bricks by using collected human urine for the first time.

Courtesy of University of Cape TownCourtesy of University of Cape TownCourtesy of University of Cape TownCourtesy of University of Cape Town+ 6

MVRDV Proposes Respectful Renovation for 19th Century Heritage Building in Wrocław, Poland

MVRDV has released details of their proposed renovation of a 19th-century listed building on Slodowa Island in Wroclaw, Poland. The “Concordia Hub” will see the retention of the existing façade, with the addition of a contemporary rear extension to “create a focal point” for the general public and visitors.

The site’s former use as a German artillery base in 1945 means almost all of the island’s structures were destroyed in the closing months of World War II. The Concordia Hub scheme seeks to preserve one of the only surviving heritage structures on the island, while transitioning the building into the modern age.

Courtesy of MVRDVCourtesy of MVRDVCourtesy of MVRDVCourtesy of MVRDV+ 4

Mexican Houses That Show the Many Ways to Use Bricks

© Carlos Berdejo Mandujano© César Béjar© Ricardo Rodríguez© 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.

More Than 2,000 Unique Robotically Manufactured Bricks Generate Variable Walls in This Pavilion

Developed by researchers and students from the Faculty of Architecture at HKU and supported by Sino Group, the 'Ceramic Constellation Pavilion' is built on a wooden structure that supports a series of "walls" formed by about 2,000 clay bricks. Each of these individual components is unique and has been manufactured using robotic technology and 3D printing, allowing to generate different types of transparency and opacity in their different faces.

© Christian J. Lange© Christian J. Lange© Christian J. Lange© Christian J. Lange+ 32