Material Focus: Brick

written by:
October 17, 2013
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.)
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  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.”  Photo by: Matthew Williams

    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.”

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

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  In cinematographer Wilmot Kidd's renovated Red Hook, Brooklyn, loft, most of the brick is painted except for a border around one of the newly enlarged windows. Photo by Jake Stangel.  Photo by: Jake Stangel

    In cinematographer Wilmot Kidd's renovated Red Hook, Brooklyn, loft, most of the brick is painted except for a border around one of the newly enlarged windows. Photo by Jake Stangel.

    Photo by: Jake Stangel

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  Reclaimed timber floors and rustic brick hit a warm material note in an England barn conversion. Photo by Christoffer Rudquist.

    Reclaimed timber floors and rustic brick hit a warm material note in an England barn conversion. Photo by Christoffer Rudquist.

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  The facade of a house in Belgium consists of "knitted bricks."“In this part of Belgium, 90 percent of the houses are built with brick,” says architect Tom Verschueren. “It’s a classic material that we tried to use in House BVA in a totally different way.”  Photo by: Frederik Vercruysse

    The facade of a house in Belgium consists of "knitted bricks."

    “In this part of Belgium, 90 percent of the houses are built with brick,” says architect Tom Verschueren. “It’s a classic material that we tried to use in House BVA in a totally different way.”

    Photo by: Frederik Vercruysse

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  Exposed original brick is one of the few reminders of apartment’s old bones of a storage-smart renovation in New York City. Photo by Raimund Koch.  Photo by: Raimund Koch

    Exposed original brick is one of the few reminders of apartment’s old bones of a storage-smart renovation in New York City. Photo by Raimund Koch.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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