The potential for brickwork design is often overlooked. We know that bricks are durable, inexpensive and can complement any building style. But we don’t often think about their creative applications. Architectural bricks paired with an experienced designer can harness unique applications of this traditional material. You can get all the benefits of using brickwork, while still adding visual appeal. The evolving need for contemporary designs calls for more architects to experiment with sustainable materials to make an inviting space. Keep reading to find out more about architectural bricks and how they can elevate your next project.
Architectural bricks refer to the cut, style and colour of a brick and the way the brick is laid to create detailed patterns. They are also known as face or facing bricks for their uniformity and aesthetic appeal. Where traditional bricks can look uneven and vary in colour, architectural bricks are specially crafted to look identical. You often see them in feature walls, fences and pillars. They can be painted, bagged or resized for any type of cladded wall you can imagine.
There are almost no limits to the type of colour, size and quality when selecting bricks. Slimline, hollow, curved and perforated bricks are just a handful of the readily available styles in Australia. There is a style, cut, size and colour of brick to suit every design project. Moreover, there are lots of texture styles to choose from. Brick finishes can be:
Experimenting with brick finishes allows you to break through traditional design conventions. When it comes to incorporating these, a glazed brick finish will help reflect light around the room. If you’re wanting to add texture, then handmade and rusticated bricks are great options.
Changing the colour of the grout also has a huge impact on the final product. A dark grout will make a dark brick seem more crowded and solid, whereas a lighter grout emphasises the colour of darker bricks, creating contrast and giving your build a freshly renovated look.
In this project in Ascot, we renovated this property using architectural bricks and refreshed grout to turn the fence into a feature. When brickwork is executed well, it makes for an attractive façade from both inside and outside the property.
When it comes to building with brick, there are so many ways to give your project visual appeal and character. One way to add your design flair is with the brick bond pattern. The variations of brick bond patterns are almost endless. Some patterns are purely visual, whereas others ensure structural integrity. Here are some of the most common patterns you will find in modern architecture:
The third way to consider sprucing up your brick wall is with placement and pattern mixing. Consider first where it is you want your bricks to be. Are you going to use them for fencing, interior walls or pillars? This decision will influence what you can do with your brick wall to make it more versatile. Brick lattices are a great way to create a screening effect while also enabling you to see through the gaps and create elegant shadows. Having extruded brick facades creates a beautiful focal point that draws attention to the wall.
Mixing patterns is also a great way to add variety and a touch of luxury. For example, you could create sections of overlapping horizontal and vertical walls to add architectural flavour. You could also alternate between patterns, offset larger bricks with smaller ones and utilise different mortar joint styles for a more subtle effect.
In this project you can see where we’ve used architectural bricks to create a window to the outside world. The smooth curves make an elegant frame that is both structurally sound and pleasing to look at. White bricks and light grey mortar opens up the space and reflects light for a clean, contemporary finish.
If you’re looking to push the boundaries with artisanal bricks and modern bricklaying techniques, contact Solutions Built. We have extensive architectural experience with brickwork and a range of construction skills that can be tailored to suit your next project’s needs. We also offer permanent formwork, Hebel installation and tips for choosing the best bricklayers. View our projects to see the scope of commercial and residential buildings we have completed. Get in touch to ask questions regarding architectural brickwork or get a quote.