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Bricks: The Latest Architecture and News

Brick Houses in Argentina: 15 Examples Exploring Pattern and Design

Brick has positioned itself as one of the materials that characterise and identify Argentinean and Latin American architectural culture. The diversity and versatility of masonry in our region have given rise to great heterogeneity in its uses and applications: structural walls, partitions, enclosures, screens, envelopes, skins, roofs, vaults, domes and floors allow us to visualise the great adaptability of this material in order to adapt to the particular requirements of each project.

Casa YAS / Estudio Arzubialde. Image © Franco PicciniCasa BYM / Estudio Arzubialde. Image © Franco Piccini, Cecilia Pellegrini, Alan Fared, Martín CabezudoCARRASCAL, Barrio de Maestros - Etapa 1 / NOMADA + eypaa. Image © Gonzalo ViramonteVivienda en San Marino Funes Hills / Mariel Suárez. Image © Ramiro Sosa+ 16

Applying Bricks to Facilitate a Sustainable Project

Generally made from kiln-fired clay, it is estimated that bricks have been used since 7000 BC, as examples were discovered in the ancient city of Jericho. Since then, bricks have been omnipresent in the history of architecture, combining constructive ease, aesthetics and comfort. Nowadays, with the growing concerns around the environment and the larger impact of materials used and decisions taken on a project, there are ways to modernize an ancient material such as brick through a few updates to its manufacturing process, making it even more eco-conscious. Brick can already be considered a sustainable material because of its durability and recyclability, but there are ways to further improve it. The new project for the headquarters of the food manufacturer Danish Crown, under construction and developed by CEBRA office, is a good example of how to apply this product in a more sustainable way.

Brick Houses in Spain: Modern Masonry Design for Home Interiors and Exteriors

The ample supply, durability, and affordability of brick makes it one of the most widely used and iconic materials in Spanish architecture, especially within the Mudejar tradition. Throughout history, they have added both beauty and function to the spaces that use them, offering protection from the elements while also permitting the entry of natural light and air flow.

In recognition of brick's impact on Spanish architecture throughout history, we have created a compilation of contemporary projects that highlight its aesthetic and functional benefits along with advice from their creators about how best use this tried and true material. 

Clay or Concrete, Solid or Hollow: Different Types of Bricks and Their Uses

The term brick is often used as a synonym for common clay solid blocks, but there's more to it. Bricks are perhaps the most elementary of building materials and can be used to design modular, optimized, and most importantly, versatile buildings. This article explores the most popular types of bricks according to their use in construction.

House in a Steel Corset / ŠÉPKA ARCHITEKTI. Image © Aleš JungmannMuseu Infantil do Vidro / Coordination Asia. Image Cortesia de Coordenation AsiaTorto House / Taguá Arquitetura. Image © Leonardo GiantomasiBellows House / Architects EAT. Image © Derek Swawell+ 18

Beyond Red: Architecture With Gray and Black Bricks

Pink Floyd's song “Another brick in the wall” criticizes an alienating and demotivating educational system. People, or children, are portrayed as bricks due to their homogeneity, whether in the way of living or thinking in a society that is not very fond of opposition. Bricks work very well in this comparison, having changed very little throughout history and around the world in their rectangular shapes. But that's not true of their colors. Although we tend to think of red when we talk about bricks, there are infinite possibilities of shades, depending on the composition and manufacturing process of the pieces.

Towards a Sustainable Future: Local Materials and Methods in Contemporary Chinese Architecture

Over the course of the last decade there has been a growing interest in the handcrafted buildings, as well as in the application of local and renewable materials in building construction. Under the concerns about the heavy environmental and economic expenses caused by construction, nowadays urban planners are embracing the concept of sustainability, which refers to “meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

18 Unmissable Projects by Eladio Dieste in Uruguay

Eladio Dieste, the engineer behind "reinforced ceramic" and double-curved arches marked his spot as one of the most important figures in architecture, not only in his native Uruguay, but in Latin America and beyond. Here, we invite you to take a look at just some of the engineer's work, from his widely-recognized churches like the Church of San Pedro and the Christ the Worker Church in Atlántida- to his factories, silos, and gymnasiums, all of which form an important part of the region's architectural repertoire.

To help us in our mission to bring Dieste's work to our readers, the Audiovisual Media Service of the Faculty of Architecture, Design, and Urbanism at the University of the Republic has shared the following images as well as the Eladio Dieste page in order to provide a space to learn about his works and writings.

20 Brick Houses, 20 Years of Modern Architecture in Paraguay

In Paraguay, brick can be many things. Walls, dividers, facades, sieves, vaults, floors, and pavement are just some of the many example that demonstrate, not only the variety of uses for brick, but the ingenuity of the architects who choose to utilize it in their projects.

Vaulted and Arched Ceilings in Argentine Houses: Examples Using Brick, Wood, and Concrete

Monopoli House / Fabrizio Pugliese. Image
Monopoli House / Fabrizio Pugliese. Image

Virginia House / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image Rodney House / BAAG. Image Monopoli House / Fabrizio Pugliese. Image Viisa House / Francisco Farias Arquitecto y Asociados. Image + 11

A vault is a constructive technique that is achieved by compressing the materials forming it together. While this technique has existed since the time of the ancient Romans, certain types of vaulted ceilings, such as the Catalan or Valencian timbral vault, only reached popularity in some areas of the world at the start of the 19th century thanks to their lost cost and ready availability. With the ability to span over 30 meters and add substantial height to structures, vaulted ceilings became a go-to for the construction of industrial spaces such as workshops, factories, and warehouses.

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