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3 ways to achieve stunning patterned exteriors using brick

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While brick has typically been seen as a traditional building material, it's now being used in surprisingly inventive ways

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Article by Elizabeth McIntyre, CEO of Think Brick Australia

With many new ideas and trends emerging in home design, it can be hard to keep on top of all the innovative ideas. In recent years, one of the biggest innovations in home design has been how brick is being used.

While brick has typically been viewed as a traditional material, recent trends are suggesting that brick can be used for much more.

Many residential architects and designers are experimenting further with brick, shifting away from its regular rigidity to emphasise the different uses brick can have in both construction and architectural design.

Over the past two years, the residential entries for the Think Brick Awards have shown how brick can be used to create stunning patterned and textured features that can add visual impact through added dimension, depth, texture and colour.

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The following examples demonstrate some of the unique ways brick can be used to create contemporary patterned designs in residential architecture.

Textured and 3D designs



Example: The Hancock House – entrant in the 2015 Horbury Hunt Residential Award in the Think Brick Awards
Photo Credit: Kavellaris Urban Design
Designed by Kavellaris Urban Design
Manufacturer: Boral Bricks

Brick can be easily manipulated in contemporary designs to accentuate the facade of a building or provide a visually appealing 3D design with the purpose of engaging onlookers. Architects and designers are increasingly choosing bolder options with the design of residential buildings to incorporate innovative and interesting design patterns.

The western facade of The Hancock House achieves just this. Contrasting with the shade and light produced from the nearby park, the textured patterns on the brick add a quality of eccentricity to a wall which could otherwise be considered generic. The way which the design was created was through six multicoloured wire-cut bricks broken in half to create a textured surface. The flame-red Escura Smooth bricks serve to activate the corner of the street, providing an enriching experience for those passing by.

Blending other materials to create new patterns



Example: Elias House – Winner of the 2016 Robin Dods Terracotta Roof Award in the Think Brick Awards
Photo Credit: Trevor Mein
Designed by Harmer Architecture
Manufacturer: Monier Roofing

While the use of brick can provide a sturdy and strong foundation for a home, the blending of other materials can accentuate brick patterns to create a visually stunning and unique design. At the same time, making use of such brick patterns can result in a well-designed home that is also cost-effective and low maintenance.

On a narrow street in the heart of Melbourne sits the Elias House, a contemporary home that reinforces how well brick can meld with other materials to create patterned designs. This structure incorporates terracotta roof tiles and timber into the exterior of the house, resulting in a textured surface. The extra use of brick adds to the unique colour palette to form a simple, yet elegant design that makes the home stand out against the Victorian terraces surrounding the home.

Multi-coloured patterns



Example: Carwoola House – entrant in the 2016 Horbury Hunt Residential Award in the Think Brick Awards
Designed by Paul Barnett Design Group
Manufacturer: Austral Bricks

With brick now available in so many colours and finishes, architects are experimenting with creating a multi-coloured design to portray interesting artistic styles in the structure of a home.

The Carwoola House, for instance, makes use of such multi-coloured bricks in both the exterior and interior of the home. The expressive jointing and decorative brickwork demonstrate how something as simple as multi-coloured bricks can create stunning designs.

About Think Brick Australia

Think Brick Australia represents Australia’s clay brick and paver manufacturers. The Australian brick industry is worth $2.8 billion and employs 30,000 people. Each year the Think Brick Awards encourages architects, designers and builders to rethink brick, concrete masonry and roof tiles as contemporary and sustainable design materials.

Visit Think Brick Australia

First published date: 31 August 2017

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