A+Finalist Spotlight: Not Just Another Brick in the Wall

The Angry Architect The Angry Architect

Public voting for the 2015 A+Awards is now open, which means that YOU have the power to select the very best architecture in the world. With the A+Awards, recognizing the best projects is no longer domain of a small group of judges — everyone gets a say in who will be crowned victorious in over 90 categories, and your opinion counts! Check out all of the finalists and cast your vote here

We’ve been building with brick for thousands of years. From ancient Sri Lankan temples to contemporary British museums, the reliable properties of masonry — a hardwearing surface, great insulating qualities, and rough, textured aesthetics — have made it the material of choice for architects across the globe.

This year’s A+Award Finalists are no exception: Here are six projects that represent the best of brick in modern architectural design. Peruse the gallery, then be sure to vote for your favorites over here!

Women’s Opportunity Center by Sharon Davis Design
Category: Architecture+Community

The pavilions of this educational hub for women in Rwanda are wrapped with permeable lattices of clay bricks, transforming each structure into a glowing terra-cotta lantern each evening.

Social Housing Z53 by MAP/MX
Category: Architecture +Low Cost Housing

The undulating masonry frontage of this social housing block in Mexico shows how a standardized building element can be utilized in an unusual way to create a dynamic façade. Each layer of bricks protrudes to a different degree, creating a playful pattern of shadows across the surface of the building.

Hy-Fi by The Living
Category: Pavilions and Architecture +Art

If you thought bricks always have to be made from clay, think again — The Living created their pavilion for MoMa PS1 in New York using a combination of organic waste and living mushrooms, creating a building that is 100% grown and completely compostable.

© Dennis De Smet Photographs

© Dennis De Smet Photographs

Auditorium AZ Groeninge by Dehullu Architecten
Category: Higher Education & Research Facilities

This lecture theater in Kortrijk, Belgium, is formed of two curving sculptural volumes, each of which is comprised of slim, vertically laid gray bricks. The unusual bond of the masonry elongates the monolithic façades, creating forms with “gracious and optimistic elegance.”

Everyman Theatre by Haworth Tompkins
Category: Hall / Theaters

Haworth Tompkin’s new design to replace the 19th century home of the iconic Everyman Theatre employs an industrial aesthetic, celebrating the colors and textures of local brickwork. The roofscape is characterized by a row of huge masonry chimneys, and the brickwork is also left exposed in the auditorium itself.

Angdong Hospital by Rural Urban Framework
Category: Health Care and Wellness

A combination of traditional recycled bricks and perforated concrete blocks are utilized to provide permeable screens and protected walkways around this healthcare facility in rural China.


Those are some of our brick picks, but there’s plenty “mortar” see: Check out all of the 2015 A+Awards finalists and vote for your favorites!

Casa das Freiras // Mario Martins Atelier

Lagos, Portugal

Design Miami/ Launching Competition with Harvard GSD for 2015 Pavilion Commission

A convergence of culture and commerce, the Design Miami/ fairs bring together design enthusiasts, co llectors, gallerists, academics, designers, and critics from around the world to engage with museum-quality gallery exhibitions, innovative commissions, talks and installations celebrating 100 years of avant-garde industrial and conceptual design. Since 2008, Design Miami/ has commissioned early-career architects to build a…

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