Handmade bricks along with steel and concrete formed the materials palette for a contemporary new home in Bronte. Petersen D91 bricks from Robertson's Building Products Pty Ltd were extensively used throughout the home and outdoors, with the striking feature flowing seamlessly between the two spaces.

The owners sought a modern, contemporary home that was easy to maintain and would evolve over time. The property presented several design challenges to the architecture firm, cm studio including the potential size limitations of a narrow semi, the blustering south-easterly breezes sweeping up the Bronte coastline, and inability to attract sufficient natural light and warmth.

The design team at cm studio rose graciously to the challenge, creating a design that delivered an easy living home with an abundance of light and warmth, generous storage space, and an interesting narrative that changes as one moves through the space.

When deciding the materials palette, the design team had to consider both aesthetics and weather resistance, given Bronte’s coastal location. Bricks, complemented by steel and concrete were the natural choice, which also fit perfectly with the homeowners’ preferences since they were looking for an industrial finish as well as a warm vibe.

Striking bricks and concrete have been used downstairs while the upstairs transforms into a larger, breezier space with floating, sheer curtains and softer furnishings.

“For us, the bricks were really important; we wanted to make them a real feature and for the owners to enjoy them. Unfortunately in a semi, you only see them from a really acute angle. We didn’t want them to have to look down a narrow passageway to see them. So that’s why we made sure we used the bricks inside as well,” comments Megan Burns, cm studio.

The homeowners loved the choice of Petersen D91 bricks early on, commenting, “Nothing else came close to the Petersen bricks that would give us the look in terms of the colour and finish. The bricks are a feature for us, like an art wall, and we wanted it exposed so that it could stand on its own.”

Though cm studio was using Petersen bricks for the first time in a project, they had always admired them. They particularly love how the colour is baked all the way through as well as the artisan quality of the handmade bricks, noting how the tone through them is much more organic looking, much softer and more interesting.

Petersen D91 bricks were used in a variety of different ways throughout the home, from the side passage to three mini feature walls in the kitchen/living space, on a striking floating lintel at the back of the house, and on a seat edge/retaining wall around the back garden.

Megan explained that they wanted the owners to enjoy the Petersen bricks in a whole lot of different ways throughout, from indoor to outdoor. The finished home in Bronte now has an incredibly happy family who just “love, love, love the Petersen bricks”.

Photographer: Katherine Lu