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10 ways to create luxury home oomph. Part 3: brick

brick in house design

3/10 ways to create luxury home oomph: brick

What does your dream home look like? Chances are that if it is a contemporary house you are after some wow effect. But there are dozens of ways to do it. In this series of posts I will try to cover 10 ways that really make a modern house stand out.

architectural house design brick

Tank Architectes’ College Levi-Strauss in Lille. Photo by Julien Lanoo

Brick could probably be one of Australia’s most loved building materials. It is hard to withstand its charm – there is something solid about it. However, the brick could be much more versatile. Today we will look at 5 ways of making brick the main character of the design.

What are the prerequsities that will allow to uncover the design potential of the brick?

First, it is the fact that in comes in fixed sizes. Nothing new. But the fact is that using this small size designer can create rhythm, which is one of them main pillars of visual appeal.

Secondly, brick comes in different colours and textures the colour itself can send a very strong message.

Thirdly,  brick is structural. It is loadbearing and it can be used exclusively to build a house any height.

Bearing these three things in mind let’s look at examples of some great brick projects.


architecture brick

House of Representation | FORM | Kouichi Kimura Architects

Wherever brick is creating a pattern everything else should become flat and recede to the background. This is because brick pattern is very busy due to its size and attracts attention from the first glance. In this example all other lines are also restrained and minimal. There are no wide trims and even window frame is recessed into the wall so that the glass seems frameless. This approach helps to bring forward the geometrical nature of the brick and makes it play the main role in the whole combination of surfaces. By the way, there are many surfaces located one behind another. This still does not look complicated, in fact the ensemble of the walls looks refined and very uncluttered. The planes and how they reflect the light allow the eye to travel.


brick interior design

Found at intensifyit.eu. Will be happy to credit designer or photographer.

There is a very powerful way to emphasize the inherent property of the brick – its texture. It can be done using directed light. In this example the windows are located so that the light falls at the brick wall at a very low angle bringing forward the mortar joints and the brick texture. In this example this is the only property of the brick that is emphasized – the colour is neutral, virtually black. It is also important that it is the only dark surface in the room. Dark and textured.


modern architecture

Iberia Center for Contemporary Art / Approach Architecture Studio

modern brick architecture

RE-ST Architecten . photo by Philippe Van Gelooven via afasiaarq.blogspot.com


Brick also allows to build not only solid rectangular walls but also curved and even with openings. Robots these days can build a wave-like wall – out of brick. However, in residential situation we cannot freely employ robots. But we can think about using brick for simpler curves and openings. In this case that form will become the dominating feature. It will immediately bring forth the fact that a square brick can be used for sinuous curves. So to make sure this shape is the only thing standing out all other properties of the brick will be subdued. The colour should be monochromatic so as not to detract the viewer’s eye from the form of the walls. And most likely the texture will tend to be flatter.

modern brick house design

Waterloo Lane / Grafton Architects via archdaily.com

Finally for today, let’s look at the project built entirely from brick and a little bit of steel, which we don’t see anyway. In this project the structural strength comes to the foreground. The texture in non-existent, the colour is black. There is some pattern but it is a three-dimensional pattern that is created using the thickness of the brick rather than mortar joints as in the first example.

contemporary brick house design

IJjburg house by Marc Koehler via designboom

Again, the lines are as clean as possible. The building approximates a black box part of which is cut out and slightly shifted. The slither of the window shows minimal frames and the landscaping is simple too.

There are more ways of using brick effectively in a modern design based on the three properties of the brick mentioned in the beginning. To see more examples of great projects, check our Pinterest account http://www.pinterest.com/designprojector.