Oct 142 min read

Role of Brick in Modern Architecture

written by

Aishwarya Bomble

Brick, a construction material dating back to around 7,000 BC, can be used in numerous different ways that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Though the form of a brick is simple, modern architects have found a variety of brave new ways to build with it.

Here are some projects that explore brick in modern architecture!

Tate Modern Switch House (London, United Kingdom)

Architects - Herzog & de Meuron

Typology - Cultural Centre

Use - Exterior of latticed brickwork on concrete structure  

A perforated covering of 336,000 bricks that clad the building's exterior helps the extension to match the brickwork of Giles Gilbert Scott's original power station.

1.jpgSource - Archdaily

IIM Ahmedabad (Ahmedabad, India)

Architects - Ar. Louis Kahn

Typology - Institute

Use - Massive brick masonry & highly geometric design

Being a monolithic masonry, many individual bricks were laid by hand & were used to build arches, semi-circles, sliced out of multiple walls & other elements.

2.jpgSource: Internet

Premier Office (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam)

Architects - Tropical Space

Typology - Office

Use - A dynamic facade of brickwork for light & ventilation

To inspire people working there, an interesting facade is designed by having a double layer with a unique “brick curtain” outside, & sliding glass doors inside.

3.jpgSource - Archdaily

Centre for Development Studies (Kerala, India)

Architects - Ar. Laurie Baker

Typology - Institute

Use - Curved double walls of perforated brick jaalis

Laurie Baker evolved an inventive technique of curved double walls of perforated brick jaalis, and staggered corners for proper light and ventilation.

4.jpgSource - Centre for development studies

Rookery Building (Chicago, USA)

Architects - Ar. Frank Lloyd Wright, John Root & Daniel Burnham

Typology - Office

Use - Historic example of exposed brick building in architecture

With a height of 55 metres and twelve floors is a combination of load bearing masonry & steel framing covered by exposed brick facade.

5.jpgSource - Marlene Calderon

Brick House (Mumbai, India)

Architects - iStudio

Typology - Residence

Use - Organic structure entirely made up of brick 

Rat-trap bond brickwork, filler slabs, brick jalis, brick arches, built-in furniture with local material were used to save the cost and make the whole process eco-friendly.

6.jpgSource -Archdaily

In conclusion, these projects expand our imagination on what is possible with brick as a material. The architects experiment, explore and play around with this simple cuboid to create awe-inspiring structures. These projects are milestones in the field of architecture, pushing boundaries of creativity and engineering.

Aishwarya Bomble

Aishwarya Bomble

An architect who is always on the go to share stories of her countless journeys.