NORD Architecture’s electricity substation for the London Olympics; photo: Andrew Lee
Brick is one of the most ancient and familiar building materials known to man, and its strength, character and flexibility of use continue to attract architects working on innovative contemporary buildings. Architonic examines some key projects that demonstrate the benefits of building with brick. (by Alyn Griffiths)
to Alyn Griffiths’ article on Architonic
'Richmond Place House' by Boyd Cody Architects, photo by Paul Tierney
This single family home located in a conservation area close to Dublin’s city centre was designed by the local practice Boyd Cody Architects. Due to its typical brick stone facade and its modest dimensions the two storeyed house which replaces an old cottage that used to be located at this site, remains substantially in character with the neighbourhood.
'Villa J' by Marge Arkitekter, photo by Johan Fowelin
The Swedish practice Marge Arkitekter – by the way an entirely female-led studio founded in 2002 by Pye Aurell Ehrström, Katarina Grundsell, Louise Masreliez and Susanne Ramel – recently unveiled this single family home in a suburb of Stockholm.
'Ceramics & Architecture' a this year's Dutch Design Week
At this years Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven the .ekwc will showcase the result of their five-year project Ceramics & Architecture, that consists of the projects ‘Brick’ and ‘Combined Residencies’. It is the biggest exhibition in .ekwc’s history, where 75 architects, designers and visual artists present their works. The publication shows the overall picture of all works made by the participants of Ceramics & Architecture.
'Between Bricks' by Baukje Trenning, photo by Ruud Peijnenburg
In the Brick project architects, designers and visual artists from The Netherlands and abroad have been asked to develop a new type of brick or come up with a new use for existing bricks. The results are as diverse as the participants themselves. They testify to intensive form research, the search for new functionality of the brick as well as an artistic approach to the material.
Brick - exhibition 3, photo by Ruud Peijnenburg
The project ‘Combined residencies’ focuses on a change in mentality: to demonstrate that cooperation between architects, visual artists and designers at as early a stage as possible, benefits the interactive, creative process. The results are innovative and surprising. Wienerberger, .ekwc’s partner in developing the project, has researched and manufactured some of the results of Brick and Combined Residencies.
'Combined residencies': 'Penrose 2' by David Celento en Del Harrow
Ceramics & Architecture, 17 / 25 october, Hal 2 Klokgebouw Strijp S and TU Eindhoven
to the .ekwc website
'Pike Loop' in Manhatten
During four weeks a robot of the ETH Zurich will built the ‘Pike Loop’ installation on a traffic island in the middle of New York. From 5 October passersby will be able to follow the construction of the bending brick wall, which will be finished 27 October and last until the end of the year. The installation and its unique construction method was developed by the professorship of Gramazio & Kohler ‘Architecture and Digital Fabrication’ at the ETH Zurich. The research of this professorship will be presented within the attendant exhibition „Digital Materiality“ in the „Storefront for Art and Architecture“ gallery from 1 October til 14 November.
'Pike Loop' by Gramazio & Kohler
Here is what the architects explain:
“Pike Loop is a 22m (72ft) long structure built from bricks, the most traditional building material widely present in New York. It was designed to be built on-site with an industrial robot from a movable truck trailer. More than seven thousand bricks aggregate to form an infinite loop that weaves along the pedestrian island. In changing rhythms the loop lifts off the ground and intersects with itself at its peaks and valleys. The massive weight of the bricks is brought to a delicate suspension. The digitally designed brick structure is further articulated by a weighted compressing and tensioning of the brick bond. Where the loop flies the bond becomes stretched and thus lighter; where it brings loads to the ground it becomes jagged and heavier, thus wider and more stable.”
“The continuous form and homogeneous expression of the structure can only be achieved through on site digital fabrication. The structure is built using the robotic fabrication unit R-O-B housed in a transportable freight container. R-O-B was shipped from Switzerland to New York and loaded onto a low bed trailer for transport and onsite fabrication. The moving of the truck trailer shifts the 4.5m (15ft) work area of R-O-B along the site in order to build the complete structure.”
Client: Storefront for Art and Architecture in conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program
Collaborators: Michael Knauß (project leader), Ralph Bärtschi, Markus Giera, Michael Lyrenmann, Kirsten Weiss, Brett Albert, Marc Pancera, Tom Stewart
Selected experts: Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, P.C. (Structural Engineering)
Sponsors: ETH Zurich, Faculty of Architecture
Keller AG Ziegeleien
Consulate General of Switzerland in New York
Swiss International Airlines
General Shale Brick Inc.
USM Modular Furniture
Sika Schweiz AG
Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, P.C.
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
New York State Council on the Arts
New York city Department of Cultural Affairs
to the professorship’s website
to the Making of Architonic Concept Space II by Gramazio & Kohler