Brick has been an important part of the materiality at Ambrose Treacy College since its establishment in 1938 in Indooroopilly, Queensland. Founding director of Fulton Trotter Architects, Charlie Fulton designed the original heritage listed Edmund Rice building with brick.

Since then, it has expanded from a middle school precinct to educating young men from grades 4 to 12. The latest addition to the precinct, the Waterford building is an amazing work of architecture also designed by Fulton Trotter Architects, and features a selection of four beautiful PGH Bricks & Pavers ranges. The design integrates a bespoke palette of Black and Tan, St George, Red and Mowbray Blue colours.

The design of the new building referenced the original Edmund Rice building, says Michael Andrews, architect at Fulton Trotter Architects.

“The Waterford building has drawn from the historical colour range and amplified it. We selected a mixture of PGH bricks for both their colour and textural qualities. We were interested in how light and shadow would play on the surfaces.”

The hit and miss brickwork on the Waterford building is 87 metres in length, suspended and delicately detailed to generate a striking interplay of shadow and light.

“The Edmund Rice building is an award-winning modernist building, which includes some delightful brick detailing; details which are uncommon today,” said Andrews. “When designing the Waterford building, we took particular interest in how we might reference the original detailing and again, amplify it.”

The Smooth range from PGH Bricks is well-known for its strikingly clean lines, smooth-face textures and a palette to complement the gorgeous Australian natural landscape. These bricks were beautifully paired with the Velour range to achieve great tone and textural variation in the façade. The detailed laying technique complements the Velour bricks, creating wonderful depth variation that helps achieve the striking interplay of shadow and light.

Fulton Trotter Architects also added a beautiful contrast in the façade by integrating PGH Bricks’ Hinterlands range – a traditional collection of rough textured, square-edged bricks – to provide a great connection between the existing heritage-listed Edmund Rice building and the otherwise smooth-faced textures that have modernised the campus on the Waterford building. PGH Bricks’ Dry Pressed Architectural range was also integrated into the design with the authentic Mowbray Blue bricks in standard size.

Andrews recalls the challenges faced by Fulton Trotter Architects, alongside builders, Bryant Building Contractors and Herron Coorey Building Contractors, and bricklayers, Hughes Brick and Block and Conquest Projects in accomplishing the intricate detailing throughout the Waterford building. The hit and miss brick screen required construction over two stages.

“Communication with the bricklayers was critical to achieve a uniform finish. It was a pleasure working with bricklayers who were motivated by the challenges that detailing presented. They were determined in achieving a quality finish that both the architect and the client were proud of.”

They were also able to overcome the significant challenge of specifying the correct materials to amplify the ambitious design.

“Brick samples and the construction of sample panels orientated to catch the light were essential. The PGH representatives, and the quality and variety of bricks simplified the process of specifying the right product,” said Andrews.

The bricks used in the project included Mowbray Blue from the Dry Pressed Architectural range, Red from the Velour range, St George from the Hinterlands range, and Black and Tan from the Smooth range. The textures of the four beautiful PGH Bricks & Pavers brick ranges make the Waterford building stand out impressively against the natural landscape.