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    Brick brise-soleil: eight perforated brick facades lighting up Australian buildings

    Nathan Johnson

    “Materiality” a snapshot of bricks in contemporary Australian architecture
    2014 Think Brick Award winners

    Whether it’s for aesthetic purposes or to control the quality of light and glare penetrating a building, perforated brickwork patterns have seen extensive use on façades throughout history and continue to be specified all across Australia.

    Below are eight examples where Australian architects have used the ancient building material to create perforated patterns for their building's façade.



    Architects: Donovan Hill
    Location: Margaret St & Albert St, Brisbane, Queensland
    Completed: 2009 
    Photography: Sam Thies, Donovan Hill

    The perforated brick section of the well-known AM60 building is really only a small portion of the Donovan Hill-designed commercial tower. The pixelated brickwork pattern forms a brise-soleil for the interior cooperate offices and also articulates the new glazed tower with the older buildings on the street front.

    Three Parts House


    Architects: EAT 
    Location: Melbourne
    Completed: 2013
    Photography: Earl Carter, James Coombe

    Eat Architects used the typical red brick in an interesting way by turning the ten-core holed brick on its side to expose their pattern and to form a perforated façade element.The perforation provides light for the interior staircase.

    Aperture House


    Architect: Cox Rayner + Twofold Studio
    Loaction: Highgate Hill, Queensland
    Completed: 2014 
    Photography: Christopher Frederick-Jones

    A former Think Brick Award Winner, there is more to Aperture House than just its small section of honeycombed brickwork however the perforated wall does add depth of field to this immensely interesting house. The architects also chose to use open perpends in the brickwork in smaller, less noticeable sections of the home.

    City Frame House


    Architects: Channon Architects
    Location: New Farm, Queensland
    Completed: 2010
    Photography: John Linkins

    While only a section of the stacked bond house features the honecomb pattern, it is interesting to note that the perpends are not mortared which allows more light to penetrate the interiors staircase.

    19 James Street


    Architects: Richards & Spence
    Location: James Street, Fortitude Valley, Queensland
    Completed: 2012
    Photography: Alice Taylor

    The ‘hit and miss’ brick pattern of the upper floor of this Brisbane shopping centre provides sun screening and filtered views for the level one commercial tenants. The colour and pattern of the bricks, ‘Charolais Cream’ in stacked bond pattern, also speaks to the surrounding architecture of the street.

    Harold Street Residence


    Architects: Jackson Clements Burrows Architects
    Location: Middle Park, Victoria
    Completed: 2011
    Photography: John Gollings

    JCBA wrapped the majority of the street front façade of this Middle Park Residence in the local vernacular red brick. The perforated elements and Webforge screening allows light to penetrate the residence from the North whilst maintaining privacy and the demarcation between public and private spheres.

    6 on Sixth


    Architects: Tridente
    Loaction: Bowden, South Australia
    Completed: 2014
    Photography: Simon Cecere

    Hovering over the entry voids to Sixth Street, the enveloping brickwork is perceived as one element, unifying the six houses into one form. It provides a practical solar screening device to manage the micro environmental conditions of each dwelling whilst providing a level of privacy to the housing occupants and a mechanism for discreet passive surveillance.

    Toorak House


    Architects: Inglis Architects
    Location: Fairbairn, House
    Completed: 2013
    Photography: Derek Swalwell

    Inglis Architects designed a breezeway brick screen to cover half of the facade, creating a distinctive entrance for the home, while also providing a permanent privacy wall for the master bedroom situated at the front on the upper floor.

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