Patterned concrete block may have originally been introduced in the late-1920s in Brazil, but today, it can be found in warm-weather areas across the world. Indeed, when it was first invented by a team of Brazilian engineers (who called it cobogó: a combination of their own initials), it was seen as an appropriate local building material that allowed light and air to pass through while still providing some shade and privacy.
By the 1950s and 1960s, the use of patterned, hollow concrete block had spread to other warm-weather areas around the globe that could benefit from its dappled light and wide variety of patterns, sizes, colors, and eventually materials. Today, breeze blocks are being reintroduced in a variety of projects not only for their aesthetic properties, but also for their contributions to sustainable architecture and their ability to permit cross-ventilation and the possibility of using recycled materials. Here, we take a look at some intriguing examples of architectural screen blocks around the world.
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