Bricks Decoded: High-rise Brick & Masonry Architecture | Yellowtrace

Bricks Decoded: #YellowtracexBrickworks Content Partnership

 

Aaaaaand… we’re back with our content partnership with our pals from Brickworks Building Products – an Australian company that designs, develops, manufactures and sells – umm, yes – bricks, but also a whole bunch of other fantastic building materials. Our partnership with Brickworks sees us exploring the versatility, immense magic and the infinite possibilities of bricks, as well as some other fantastic materials we shall be revealing down the track – so stay tuned.

In this series, we’re focusing on High-rise Brick & Masonry Architecture. Boom! Just in case you hadn’t noticed (but I seriously doubt it), contemporary mid and high rise towers are usually built using materials like concrete, steel, glass and large format claddings. At the same time, bricks are renowned for tactile, human scale qualities, and as such, are usually associated with smaller works of architecture, like houses. This is generally speaking, of course. Reasons for this are many – cost or ease of construction, but often the main reason is people’s perception.

Alas, I’m sure you’ll agree bricks are amongst the elite group of materials that are hard to beat when it comes to creating works of architecture that add a layer of visual richness and texture to our cities, which help engage even the non-architects among us. This is, after all, the job of any great work of architecture – to include, inspire and excite a much greater audience than just the design nerds who visit pages like Yellowtrace. In other words, you know – normal people. Hahaha! Ok, maybe that went a bit too far, but you catch my drift, no?

Anyway, enough frivolity, you guys. Let’s dive in!

 

Related:
Bricks Decoded: Curved Brick Buildings.
Bricks Decoded: The Return Of Glass Blocks.
Bricks Decoded: Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Breeze Block.

 

Arc by Crown Group by Koichi Takada Architects | Yellowtrace
Photo by Martin Siegner.

Arc by Crown Group by Koichi Takada Architects | Yellowtrace
Photo by Martin Siegner.

Arc by Crown Group by Koichi Takada Architects | Yellowtrace
Photo by Martin Siegner.

Arc by Crown Group by Koichi Takada Architects | Yellowtrace
Photo by Martin Siegner.

Arc by Crown Group by Koichi Takada Architects | Yellowtrace
Photo by Tom Ferguson.

 

Arc by Crown Group in Sydney, designed by Koichi Takada Architects // Working within a heritage precinct in the Sydney CBD, the Arc by Crown Group strikes a balance between seamlessly enhancing the existing streetscape, and providing a fresh and recognizable addition to Sydney’s skyline.

Inspired by the brickwork in the neighboring buildings and the masonry character of significant heritage buildings, Koichi Takada Architects introduced a duality to the façade via the varied aesthetics of the podium and the tower. Bowral Bricks, a division of Brickworks Building Products, worked with Koichi Takada to supply Hereford Bronze and Bowral Blue bricks for the project (see the full range here).

Further informed by the curvilinear nature of Australia, the distinctive arches vary in shape and width, adding a level of thoughtful detail that enriches the Arc building’s heritage appeal. Stepped brick framework enhances the perfectly symmetrical windows and balconies, making the structure appear elongated and elegant. The sculptural tip of the towers float above the podium, shaping the skyline with an organic and gentle form.

“It became a conscious decision to crown the building with an architectural feature that relates to how people perceive Sydney. We have taken a risk, and hope others will read this as a message to take one too,” says Koichi Takada.


 

Edges Apartments by Studio Toggle | Yellowtrace

Edges Apartments by Studio Toggle | Yellowtrace

Edges Apartments by Studio Toggle | Yellowtrace
Photography by Gijo Paul George.

 

Edges Apartments in Kuwait by Studio Toggle // Dynamic, articulated facades clad with locally sourced brick give the Edges Apartments in Salmiya, an expat neighborhood in Kuwait, a unique personality. If this brick building could talk, it would be sassy.

Based across Kuwait and Portugal, Studio Toggle gave the building a “rhythmic twist,” transporting the vertices on either side of the finite axis. Besides adding dramatic appeal to the aesthetic of the residential block, the twist was also influenced by practical considerations. The irregular form adds structural integrity to combat strong prevailing winds, and provides shade and privacy for residents.


 

38 Housing Units by Avenier Cornejo Architectes | Yellowtrace

38 Housing Units by Avenier Cornejo Architectes | Yellowtrace

38 Housing Units by Avenier Cornejo Architectes | Yellowtrace

38 Housing Units by Avenier Cornejo Architectes | Yellowtrace
Photography by Takuji Shimmura.

 

38 Housing Units in France by Avenier Cornejo Architects // The 38 social housing units are located Clichy, a town on the outskirts of Paris, an area experiencing significant urban development. Paris-based Avenier Cornejo Architectes looked to the concept of ‘eliminating borders’ in a metropolitan environment.

Taking cues from older, surrounding buildings of varied colour brick, the northwest and southwest facades are built using dark red Lucca bricks. An art deco diamond motif formed by overhanging and recessing brick headers adds an ornamental expression that subtly connects the building to the city of Paris. The motif is repeated on a larger scale through perforations on adjacent metal walls.

The project was the winner of the 2017 Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Award.


 

DIY-housing Project Amstelloft in Amsterdam by WE architecten | Yellowtrace
Photography © Filip Dujardin.

 

DIY Housing project Amstelloft in Amsterdam by WE Archticten // Designed by WE Architecten, the collective DIY-housing project Amstelloft is a series of spacious, individually tailored loft apartments in Amsterdam. The project extensively involved all inhabitants of the building, with design inspired by dwellings within old schools, churches, and vast warehouses.

Enhancing this concept, a limited palette of robust materials was chosen to give the building a timeless façade. Bricks layered in varying dark shades clad the entire exterior, protruding to frame and enhance distinctive arched openings. The site offers incredible views of the Amstel river, with soaring 5.5m ceilings and tall windows giving ample opportunity to take in the sites.

Read more about this article & see more images here.


 

The Interlock by Bureau de Change Architects | Yellowtrace

The Interlock by Bureau de Change Architects | Yellowtrace

The Interlock by Bureau de Change Architects | Yellowtrace

The Interlock by Bureau de Change Architects | Yellowtrace

The Interlock by Bureau de Change Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography @ Gilbert McCarragher.

 

The Interlock in London by Bureau de Change Architects // Riding House Street in London’s Fitzrovia is home to a mismatched breadth of architectural styles, from 19th Century terraces to post war commercial blocks and contemporary concrete slab structures. The street’s piecemeal aesthetic is unified by the use of brickwork, which serves as the façade of choice, at times so abundant it forms parts of the road surface.

A five-storey mixed use building designed by Bureau de Change for developer HGG London, the Interlock interprets this history by taking the proportions of its neighboring 19th Century terrace and recasting its brick façade to create a building of uncertain heritage, subverting the traditional dimensions of London brick. A collection of 44 misshapen, seemingly unstackable bricks were developed out of Staffordshire Blue Clay, its unusual matte, inky-blue shade selected to contrast the areas existing brickwork. 5000 blocks were created, laid using 1:1 printed templates that set out the number, typology, and location of each brick, acting like a construction manuscript.

Co-founder and Director of Bureau de Change Billy Mavropolous says, “we adapted and reviewed the bricks in 3D. We were walking the line of what would be techni-cally possible, but through this process, found a point that was both buildable and produced the richness and movement we were trying to achieve.”

The bricks compose to form patterns that make the building appear at once historic and contemporary, familiar yet foreign. The bricks appear to morph and interact like cogs, and are inset frame-like to denote the building’s perimeter


 

10 Wylde Street in Potts Point by SJB | Yellowtrace

10 Wylde Street in Potts Point by SJB | Yellowtrace

10 Wylde Street in Potts Point by SJB | Yellowtrace
Architectural photography by Brett Boardman. Interior photography by Felix Forest.

 

10 Wylde Street in Potts Point by SJB Architects // Developed by Investec and designed by SJB, 10 Wylde Street is a grand residential address in Sydney’s Potts Point, containing 22 apartments over 7 levels. Drawing from the rich architectural heritage of the local vernacular, the building employs a contemporary interpretation of forms and materials that characterise the area and age gracefully.

A strong, formally articulated brickwork ‘glove’ facade gives depth and proportion to the east, south and west facades. The elongated, roman profile brickwork from Austral Masonry provides texture and rhythm to the masonry form, culminating in subtly curved columns and wide sweeping arcs that meet the street. The northern façade is held by the wrapping masonry ‘glove’, characterised by its transparency and fineness of detailing with thin steel and aluminium window frames, slender columns, slab edges and folded copper edge details.

Read more about this article & see more images here.


 

120 Allen Street in Manhattan by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

120 Allen Street in Manhattan by Grzywinski+Pons | YellowtraceClick To Read Entire Post

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