The return of the brick house

Every industry experiences trends, and the world of architecture is no different. From the enduring appeal of the Gothic to the fleeting popularity of the Bauhaus school, the history of the industry is a diverse, dialectical dialogue.

The return of the brick house

One of the latest trends to hit the world of property design is the revival of an inimitable classic: the brick house. Here, we run through a selection of innovative and cutting-edge trends that lie behind the rebirth of brick architecture.

Contrasting shades

The scope for invention and creative design with brick is surprisingly vast.

A common trend emerging in 2017 is the use of these traditional building blocks to provide colour and contrast. This is particularly effective in larger buildings, as proven by the New Settlement Community Campus in the Bronx, New York. While use of bricks in different hues helps to distinguish between the wings at this centre, the varying shades also provide an eye-catching look.

Practical use of colour

Colour can do far more than just enhance the appearance of a brick house, however: architects have been employing the use of neutral-hued building blocks to practical effect. Take the Cougar Woods Dining Hall at the University of Houston, Texas, for example.

While the structure’s northern aspect is almost entirely glazed, the southern and western parts are crafted from masonry in light hues.

But this isn’t purely an aesthetic decision. The use of cooling brick is a means of dealing with the colossal heat in this part of Texas. The northern glazing allows for a flood of natural light, while the southern and western walls protect from the heat of the sun.

Variety in texture

The director of Australia’s Architects EAT, Albert Mo, has recognised the resurgence of the brick house in 2017. Among the reasons for the revival he cites nostalgia and the material’s tactile nature.

In fact, brick finishes have become more diverse than ever. From hard-blasted sanding to rough-cuts and tumbling, architects have their pick of a wide crop of textures.

A greener future

What we can expect in the future from brick house architecture?

Brick architecture may be dominating the here and now, but the construction industry also has its eyes fixed on what’s to come. The future of the field is undoubtedly green, and the possibilities for eco-friendly brick design are seemingly endless.

In a promising feat, New York-based architects The Living have developed a large compostable structure that uses entirely organic bricks, which was exhibited at MoMa. Green design is undoubtedly the future of the brick house; a material that has been with us throughout the history of civilisation is sure to have a place in the future of architecture.

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