From the dome designs of Ancient Rome to today’s most avant-garde homes, concrete is the most widely used material on Earth. Thousands of years since its invention, architects continue to experiment with the possibilities of concrete construction.
This collection of case studies investigates one particular contemporary trend in the use of this ubiquitous material: concrete brick. Created from custom molds, concrete bricks can take on a variety of textures, colors, and sizes. Some façades have a rough, rock-like texture, some are smooth and create a pattern with varying shades of gray, and others appear to be unique tile designs. The flexibility in how façades are stylized is evident in the featured projects below.
In addition to its aesthetic advantages, concrete brick has practical and environmental benefits. Concrete exteriors deaden exterior noise, provide reliable fire protection, and are relatively easy to clean. Finally, concrete brick walls have high thermal mass, thus reducing the energy needed to maintain the building’s desired temperature.
The concrete brick façade extends to the interior of the home, into the communal living room, and even inside the bathrooms. Laid in the style of traditional brick walls, the concrete siding becomes a common thread in the design of the entire house.
The highly stylized concrete walls appear like tiles set to create a wall pattern. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, they help keep the interior of this Brazilian office at a cool temperature.
Using concrete brick instead of large fitted slabs, the designers of this Korean residential complex are able to create delicate patterns with light and color. The concrete brick façade appears almost like a screen enveloping the entire building.
Translating to the “Mushroom Information Center,” the Paddenstoelenhuis uses concrete bricks to create a rough texture to a sleek, modern structure. The tactile façade was hand-cut by a custom brick manufacturer.
Designed in relation to the rugged natural landscape, this New Zealand home uses smooth lines and a tactile concrete brick façade.
Painted concrete brick gives the impression of a refined façade, as seen on high-end fashion designer’s Seoul flagship location. The tactile material helps frame the clothes and make the store stand out among the rest.