Clay bricks from PGH Bricks & Pavers were used on the feature walls of the award-winning Bellbowrie Swimming Pool in Brisbane.

With complex patterning and a heightened visual experience, the street-facing brick feature walls of the Bellbowrie Swimming Pool made it the clear winner for the commercial category of the 2013 Horbury Hunt Awards. Representing the very best commercial projects using clay brick, the award is the most highly prized in the (clay brick) industry.

Following the 2011 floods, Bureau Proberts Architects were commissioned by the Brisbane City Council to design a new flood-resistant pool facility for Bellbowrie. The striking visual appeal of the building is enhanced by a flowering gum motif referencing the gums that are indigenous to the area.

To achieve the appropriate look and feel of this feature, the architect worked closely with an artist to design the pattern. Two brick colours, Crevole and Nutmeg were selected from PGH to create the effect.

While Crevole was chosen to create the large free-form gum flowers that can be seen clearly from the street, Nutmeg bricks provided the contrasting background that included an expressed flower motif.

Lauren Saltman, marketing manager for PGH Bricks & Pavers, explains that the interactive appeal of these two contrasting choices is vividly eye-catching and the visual experience is intensified as the large gum flowers and flower motif change at various times of the day depending on the viewer’s distance from the building. A Flemish Bond bricklaying pattern developed specifically for highly ornamental work was used.

Community and environment were an important focus of the design brief with the feature walls creating a physical and metaphorical link to the landscape. The building’s form is arranged in two pavilions, which allows a community verandah space to overlook the pool through a new landscaped square, with the innovative brick feature walls facing out into the street. Utilising residential brickwork in a contemporary manner, the design assisted in creating a strong civic and visual presence.

The intricate and technically difficult brick pattern design ultimately heightens the experience of the building with the aesthetic working closely against the building’s suburban environment, and making it a clear winner of the 2013 Horbury Hunt Commercial Category Award.