Brick is a long-serving, hardy design material, reminiscent of a friendly, familiar face, or a warming fire; fundamental but sometimes in danger of going unnoticed.
Brick had taken a backseat in recent years, almost usurped by modern counterparts. But recent times have seen it march forward to its rightful place, with inclusion in multiple modern and architecturally-applauded projects. Recent projects recognised at the Brick Awards in November served every purpose from educational and religious buildings right through to homes and commercial establishments. This fact alone shows the influence brick still holds; its repeated specification by architects demonstrates a lifelong relationship of respect. Their universal appeal reveals a simple truth, brick’s involvement in architecture isn’t going anywhere, and this applies especially to its use in restoration.
A residential refurbishment project in Hackney, East London, is a shining example of how modern day architecture is embracing the centuries old building material. Recently honoured by a Brick Award nomination, the Clonbrock Road refurbishment project by Lipton Plant Architects has had huge commercial success and interest from the property sector, as over 500 people visited the property during London Open House.
The original building was refurbished and restored to look different to its setting, in a road mainly comprised of terraced properties, built in the Victorian era. The building’s presence is instantly noticeable against its background, with the use of sharp angles and large window features setting it apart from its neighbours. Ibstock’s Facade Beek silver white brick instantly updates the project, and the use of clean lines and neutral colours in the interior of the property maximises space.
Simon Hay of the Brick Development Association (BDA), comments:
“ Indeed, Brick remains very much the number one choice for architects working on restoration and refurbishment projects.”
“As such a versatile material, brick can be used across a huge range of projects, as the wide variety of nominees for Best Refurbishment at this year’s Brick Awards reflects, not to mention the inclusion of a high number of brick-based projects at this year’s RIBA National Awards. Brick is not just for everyday projects, but is often fundamental to architecturally-excellent developments too.”