10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
There’s something about brick that we just can’t enough of. It's earthy and natural, symmetrical and sturdy, timeless and versatile—and its red, brown, and beige hues can add warmth and a sense of strength and solidity to any facade or interior.

As a construction material that dates back to around 7,000 BC, bricks can be used in numerous different ways that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Though the form of a single brick is simple, modern architects have found a variety of brave new ways to build with it. Here are some interesting homes where the ingenuity of this humble material prevails.

And make sure to read our guide on the pros and cons of exposed brick and how to take care of it. As is the case with most materials, it's important to know its inherent characteristics and the responsibilities that come along with preserving it.

Knitted-Brick Facade in Belgium

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 1 of 10 - In a part of Belgium where 90 percent of residences are made of brick, architect Tom Verschueren of DMVA Architects used "knitted" bricks to screen seven tall, slim windows on a home’s street-side facade.

In a part of Belgium where 90 percent of residences are made of brick, architect Tom Verschueren of DMVA Architects used "knitted" bricks to screen seven tall, slim windows on a home’s street-side facade.

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 2 of 10 - The most distinctive feature of this Chicago home is its two-sided, honeycomb-patterned, brick-screen facade that lets in sunlight and fresh air in the day, and turns the home into a dazzling light box at night.

The most distinctive feature of this Chicago home is its two-sided, honeycomb-patterned, brick-screen facade that lets in sunlight and fresh air in the day, and turns the home into a dazzling light box at night.

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 3 of 10 - Piercy & Company combined glass, steel, and 19th-century brick for a stunning effect in the award-winning Kew House in southwest London.

Piercy & Company combined glass, steel, and 19th-century brick for a stunning effect in the award-winning Kew House in southwest London.

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 4 of 10 - Bricks in five different colors with alternating horizontal and vertical layouts create a visually captivating facade on this renovated bungalow in Sydney from the 1930s.

Bricks in five different colors with alternating horizontal and vertical layouts create a visually captivating facade on this renovated bungalow in Sydney from the 1930s.

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 5 of 10 - In a historic renovation of a home from 1844 in the neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, the original brick walls of the house were left exposed to pay homage to the property’s rustic legacy as the home of a town miller.

In a historic renovation of a home from 1844 in the neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, the original brick walls of the house were left exposed to pay homage to the property’s rustic legacy as the home of a town miller.

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 6 of 10 - In this Edwardian house in London, the colors and textures of the brick walls that form the perimeter of the outdoor courtyard can be seen through floor-to-ceiling windows in the kitchen.

In this Edwardian house in London, the colors and textures of the brick walls that form the perimeter of the outdoor courtyard can be seen through floor-to-ceiling windows in the kitchen.

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 7 of 10 - This home in Korea has a brick facade and interior walls that omit vertical construction joints. Instead, it's comprised of bricks that are stacked with an outward twist, which gives the facade a look that recalls the scales of a snake or a tree's bark. 

This home in Korea has a brick facade and interior walls that omit vertical construction joints. Instead, it's comprised of bricks that are stacked with an outward twist, which gives the facade a look that recalls the scales of a snake or a tree's bark. 

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 8 of 10 - Inspired by the traditional red brick houses in Dublin, this home features exposed brick walls that begin in the interior kitchen, extend out to a skylit sitting area, and finally continue onto an outdoor courtyard. 

Inspired by the traditional red brick houses in Dublin, this home features exposed brick walls that begin in the interior kitchen, extend out to a skylit sitting area, and finally continue onto an outdoor courtyard. 

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 9 of 10 - Constructed almost entirely of red brick, this clean-lined, L-shaped row house in the Czech Republic juxtaposes walls of vertically laid bricks with walls of horizontally laid bricks. The pavements along the gardens surrounding the house are laid with the same type of bricks. The overall effect is a home that looks as if it grew from a ground of bricks.

Constructed almost entirely of red brick, this clean-lined, L-shaped row house in the Czech Republic juxtaposes walls of vertically laid bricks with walls of horizontally laid bricks. The pavements along the gardens surrounding the house are laid with the same type of bricks. The overall effect is a home that looks as if it grew from a ground of bricks.

10 Modern Structures That Use Brick in Interesting Ways - Photo 10 of 10 - When this old power station in Melbourne was restored and transformed into a chic, six-level restaurant, the raw brick and concrete structure of the original building was preserved. The weathered look of the brick walls serve as a dramatic backdrop to the fashionable, contemporary furniture that inhabits the space.

When this old power station in Melbourne was restored and transformed into a chic, six-level restaurant, the raw brick and concrete structure of the original building was preserved. The weathered look of the brick walls serve as a dramatic backdrop to the fashionable, contemporary furniture that inhabits the space.