According to the Clay Brick and Paver Association, eight out of the 10 buildings at the new Sydney University Village - which provides student accommodation - have brick exteriors, chosen, says project architect Tony Spragg from Allen Jack + Cottier because “brick is durable, it’s something you see in the university and it’s a material people can relate to.”

The three largest brick buildings use cavity construction (clay bricks in both leaves), the four rows of terraces are brick veneer and the purely commercial building has a concrete frame with brick infill. The accommodation is a mix of one, two, four and five bedroom units, some self-contained, others with communal facilities.

The architects chose to use brick colour rather than intricate detailing as the primary means of modulating the façade. Four of the buildings have alternating vertical panels of cream and terracotta to give a terrace-like appearance. The larger brick residential buildings were graded in colour - dark base, terracotta mid level and above - to break down their mass.

Possibly the most interesting detail, and one which is repeated across the site, is also the simplest. Panels of brickwork with flush joints contrast with the surrounding brickwork laid with raked joints. Even on a dull day shadowing in the raked joints created the illusion of colour difference between the panels - easy to achieve and effective.

Source: Building Products News.