Can brick spark wonder? In Gainesville, brick is ubiquitous. Campus buildings old and new are defined by their red-clad halls. Downtown streets and warehouses alike are constructed from it, well-worn and textured, in some cases by a century of weathering. Brick is so common in Gainesville that we might be inclined to feel tired of it -- but as a material integral to the architectural fabric of this city, it isn't going away any time soon. So this week, our inspiration comes from projects which simultaneously devote themselves to constructing with brick while challenging its conventions. By endorsing local architectural constructive tradition, these projects relate to the people of their community, while also sparking wonder in the liberty of their unconventional construction.
The first project is a residential block located in Cordoba, Argentina, designed by firms Eypaa and Nomada and part of a housing project set to complete in 2024 which provides affordable housing to local teachers. A simple gesture in turning a brick on end introduces depth to the facade and allows for the entrance of screened daylight to each apartment.
Photo Source: https://www.dezeen.com/2018/11/11/affordable-brick-housing-eypaa-nomada-argentinian-teachers-cordoba/
Similarly, brick screen is incorporated into this hospital project in Senegal designed by Manuel Herz, letting light and ventilation enter while also incorporating an undulating geometry.
Photo Source: https://www.archdaily.com/895766/manuel-herz-to-design-curvilinear-expansion-of-rural-senegal-hospital
The next project incorporates brick not as wall but as roof: historic Catalan construction techniques in vaulted masonry inspired a curved brick roof which begins and ends flush with the ground but arches up to create the shaded spaces of a school library in India, designed by Sameep Padora & Associates. The brick roof, which insulates the library from the hot sun of the local climate, is comprised of three layers of 1" brick held together with mortar -- the double curves of the structure were modeled digitally using Rhinoceros 3D software.
Photo Source: https://www.dezeen.com/2018/10/08/sameep-padora-associates-kopargaon-india-school-library-architecture/
The last project, the Cristo Obrero Church located in Uruguay, designed and engineered by Eladio Dieste and completed in 1960, is an exploration of brick as a versatile architectural material. In this church, brick creates undulating roof, curved walls, textured screen, geometric lanterns, all integrated into one intricate project.