Finding the right brick was an important element in the transformation of an art deco home into a more contemporary space for a young family.

Since the existing art deco building had a stucco finish with brick detailing, the search for the perfect material palette was driven by the need to find the right brick.

Emma Templeton, Director, Templeton Architecture explained that they decided to find something that would work harmoniously with the existing brick details and the stucco, yet could be translated in a contemporary manner.

After considering several brick options for the home renovation, Emma decided to go with Petersen D72 bricks after holding one in her hand. “Once we handled the product we were committed. I had seen them in editorials, but this was the first time I had held one in my hand, and that was the end of it,” Emma recalls.

Once the Petersen D72 brick was selected, the rest of the material palette quickly fell into place. “We had that softness and tactile, handmade quality of the brick that really talked to the project,” Emma says.

The material palette also included black aluminium windows and steel balustrades selected to pick up on the old balconies, and the volumes and proportion of art deco buildings.

The Petersen D72 brick, especially its format and tactical quality, drove the design concept with the architects focused on the decorative possibilities found in brick construction.

Having seen the brick used in different ways, Emma realised that they could create a pattern with it, using soldier courses and a stretcher bond, to really make a harmonious link to the history of the property and the site.

“While the original appeal was the handmade chalky finish of the bricks, we loved the proportion because it’s lovely to repeat. And we realised we could use repetition and pattern in a subtle way that can still be contemporary,” Emma adds.

The final outcome of the brickwork is breathtaking, thanks to immaculate, careful bricklaying. “The set-out of the bricks was really tricky to get the mortar precise, so we could get our window heights to line up with the soldier courses, and everything else. And the brickies did an amazing job. They even placed the Petersen stamp in iconic spaces on the walls,” Emma explains.

The Merriwee home personifies true craftsmanship in its spectacular design, quality materials and superb building and bricklaying.

Photographer: Ben Hosking