Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Another Brick in the Wall

      Imagine making a home, and the first thing you picture is a pallet of bricks. A building material which has been around for ages, having imprints of its existence way back in Harappan civilization, has become synonymous with construction. But with modern building aesthetics, which is by large defined by Glass, Steel and Concrete, the brick in recent past had lost its image. But as the trend resurges, the traditional building material is back on the buildings and is carving a niche for itself, especially in the contemporary residential Architecture, a segment that thrives on individuality and creating a statement for the owner. Bearing a feel of being ‘handmade’, it gives a distinct character to the building, while being easily available in local markets.  After being covered up in plaster for long, it has finally exposed itself and has provided the designers a plethora of options to explore with the basic building material.

     Deriving its hue out of the soil it’s made from and the kiln it’s heated and hardened in, bricks gives a distinct colour palette to your building. Unlike exterior paints which are made of pigmented chemicals and lose their sheen over a couple of years making your house look old, the brick stays the same for years to come  since the colour is derived out of natural materials which are bound to stay the same forever, making your house look timelessly beautiful. Though different colour options are available in market today, they too have been arrived at by adding natural pigments during the manufacturing process, thus can be trusted to stay the same for times to come.

     With its inherent coarse and rough texture, bricks are a sheer treat to eyes when seen under light. Clad them over sun struck exteriors or pair them up with directional light in interiors, the visual characteristics are sure to delight you. Apart from the regular English and Flemish brick bond patterns, which give the brick clad surface a secondary texture, add them up in your desired pattern and make your otherwise boring wall an interesting one. 

     The Brick proves to be an excellent surface material, especially in an extreme climate like ours where temperature ranges between 4 degrees to 48 degree Celsius. Characterized by high thermal mass, it works on the same principle as earthen pots, or matkas used to store water, as it absorbs h­­­eat during summers giving us comfortably cool interiors and emit the heat stored during the day in winters to stabilize our thermal conditions providing warmth, thus lessening our reliance upon air conditioners and heaters alike. 

Brick is Green!
     For the environmentally conscious, the Bricks in addition to being climatically compatible are green products in making as well. With improved modern brick kilns using far less energy than earlier versions and being fired up using natural gas and other fuels from bio based materials, the bricks have taken a plunge towards being an environmentally friendly building product in one of the most environment unfriendly industry. Bricks are made from naturally abundant materials and do not off-gas volatile organic compounds or other toxic materials, in contrast to various other wall finishes. So use, reuse and recycle!

Interior ideas
  • Pair the brick up with other natural and non pigmented materials like Marble, Exposed concrete, Metals, plants and bamboo accessories and light the composition up with yellowish lights to derive your own warm and rustic interiors.
  • Use them as flooring material in your courtyards and backyard gardens to achieve a beautiful green and red contrast.
  • Use them instead of wall texture paints and create your own pattern with them.
  • Planters and Fixed Furniture made of bricks are in vogue.

    Rising from the mud, kneaded to perfection , before being stuffed into a mould to being burnt to hardness in a kiln, a brick sees it all in the making itself as it rises to be one of the basic building material that shelters billions across the globe. So next time when you refurbish your home, just add another brick in the wall.