These days bricks have far more to offer the architect and designer than they did a generation ago.
Take architect Ariane Prevost's striking new home in Claremont as an example, a unique three-bedroom house which embodies what can be achieved if you think outside the box when it comes to bricks.
It features Midland Brick's range of bricks and blocks not only as the home's base structure but also on the floors, in the fireplace and in exposed internal and external masonry walls.
Ariane says she likes to incorporate bricks in her designs as she loved their geometric shape, hardiness, warmth, character, colour variation and raw quality. "The beauty of the raw masonry provides a variety of low-maintenance, textural finishes and a rich palette of earthy colour tones that increase in beauty with age," she says. "The playfulness of sunlight on the concrete blockwork transforms the look of the house through each day and seasons."
A brick focus is immediate from the moment you set sight on Ariane's home, with "hit-and-miss" laid masonry screening walls providing interest and privacy. And an external masonry wall, leading to the entry, contrasts with the aged red bricks of the heritage cottage next door.
Inside, a pavilion-style dwelling with bi-fold doors and brick flooring opens up to a central north-facing courtyard, also with the same flooring, for a seamless indoor-outdoor transition. Ariane laid bricks, not pavers, for the flooring and instead of laying them face up, turned them on their sides to make the most of their variation in colour and burn marks.
She says sealed brick flooring is ideal for families and pet owners as it is quiet, warm, hardy and required no maintenance. "Bricks are beautiful, affordable, readily available and easy to build with on even the most difficult of sites," she says.
"You really can do anything you like with them, you just need to think outside the box." Midland Brick product development manager Alf D'Angelo says Ariane's home demonstrates an emerging trend of using masonry blocks in residential design. "The ultra-modern design incorporates a range of block sizes and laying styles which give the walls texture and depth - all enhanced by the play of light and shadows," he says.
All the bricks and blocks used in this project are part of Midland Brick's current range and include:
Georgian Granite Sett clay bricks - used in the main structure and flooring.
Slim line and standard masonry blocks - used in the fireplace.
Midland Brick concrete blocks - used in external and internal masonry walls.
This Origami house was also the only Perth home featured in Season 5 Episode 3 of Grand Designs Australia in October 2014. View Full Episode
Architect/ Builder/ Property Development: Ariane Prevost
Phone: 08 9384 8000
Address: 575 Stirling Hwy, Cottesloe WA 6011
For more information on Midland Brick's range of bricks and masonry blocks, click the links below.