For the love of bricks!

For the love of bricks!

Clay is one of history’s oldest materials, which has accompanied human beings since the Neolithic Levantine farmers. Many years ago, bricks (or adobe blocks) were put to dry under the sun, but the technique was perfected little by little and the result was a series of more resistant and durable pieces.

There are many types that can be used in different ways: some are hollow, which are used in facades; some are artisanal (very popular in rural areas); and as something novel for our time, ceramic ones arrived, destined solely for decorative purposes, and which are also easier to clean.

The firm Foster+Partners employed custom made bricks to develop the China Resources University, near Shenzhen in China. Thinner and longer than the common kind, each piece is over half a meter long. They are covered with a fine layer of colored mortar to finish concrete elements. The campus also houses a hotel, clubhouse, stores, and houses. At the center, the university is 55,000 square meters featuring five buildings used for teaching and an innovation center.

Photos: Nigel Young

An apartment complex designed by HGR Arquitectos can be found in Emiliano Zapata 167, Mexico City, which is heaven for all brick lovers. The firm chose this material, accompanied by wood and volcanic rock under the purpose of all of it being the most natural and resistant as possible. The vegetation that embellishes the complex is endemic and requires little maintenance. They used bricks to create alternate panels across two façades, in the same way they are found in the five courtyards that form the building’s core.

Photos: Diana Arnau

Collective Project presented a hand-shaped adobe house (in Bangalore, India) with natural variations, celebrating imperfection and shape. The place is the result of the restoration of a small clay house, from which the palette and the plinth were preserved. The new design speaks about a combination of traditional building methods and contemporary geometries. 

Photos: Benjamin Hosking

Folklore Museum is a white brick structure that expands along a small road in Mouscron, Belgium. The work was carried out by V+ studio, who employed recycled pieces from local demolished buildings. The museum was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award (this year) and houses a collection of objects, crafts, and documents from 1850 to 1940, which detail the city’s history.

Photos: Maxime Delvaux

In Prague, Czech Republic, we find Loft with Love, a small apartment designed by CMC ARCHITECTS, a renovation that preserved the industrial character of the old building and created a comfortable space for modern life, they used the same tools employed in the building and left its structure exposed, reason why an adobe wall serves as natural decoration.

Photos: BoysPlayNice

These five projects are inspiration and help us travel around the world through a common denominator: bricks. Learn all about this MATERIAL in the collection offered by Arca.