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Material Focus: Brick

The materials most closely associated with modernism are steel and concrete but the building block of the ages is—and will likely remain—brick. Used as early as 7500 BC, the material now crops up in modern homes, like in the handful we've gathered in the following slideshow. (If you need further convincing, Louis Kahn loved brick, too.)

In a Boerum Hill townhouse renovation, the architects retained the exposed brick on the interior, painting much of it white to help the space reflect sunlight. “There was an interest in having an open, more contemporary layout, but we still wanted some sense of living in this building that’s 100 years old,” Ben Bischoff says. “That motivated us a lot to keep the brick. It’s a very subtle echo of what the house originally was.”

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