There’s something quintessentially Australian about exposed brick. Over the years however, the use of brick in outdoor spaces hasn’t always taken the most glamorous or design focused approach. That’s all set to change in 2017 however. The revival of brick in Australian design is extending beyond the architecture of buildings and emerging as a new favourite for landscape architecture in the year ahead.
Image sourced from Vokes and Peters – West End Cottage
Carlie Spiteri, communications manager at PGH Bricks & Pavers has noticed that brick is starting to become a bit of a mover and shaker in the world of landscaping and outdoor design. “In recent years, we have observed the use of bricks in landscaping and outdoor spaces across a number of leading residential projects,” says Carlie. “It lends earthy and natural character to outdoor spaces, helping to bridge the natural and built environment.”
Image sourced from Dan Young Landscape Architect – Camp Hill Terrace – Dan Young Landscape and Owen Architecture
Landscape architect Dan Young used PGH Black & Tan bricks for his Camp Hill Terrace project to reference the home’s existing built form (designed by Paul Owen Architecture) and created a practical new outdoor living space for a Brisbane family. Extending the existing brickwork created design continuity, while providing a durable base that is suited to the exposed outdoor location.
Image sourced from Lockyer Architects – Shaun Lockyer Architects (SLa) – Monaise Residence project
Shaun Lockyer Architects (SLa) embraced outdoor brickwork for their Monaise Residence project, using it to create playful patterns of light and shadows for courtyard seating and fireplace. Architects Vokes and Peters created a unique brickwork fireplace, chimney and arched firewood recess for their West End Cottage project, as well as broad stairs to provide easy access to the backyard and a place to sit.
“In addition to being a durable and low maintenance alternative to traditional hardscaping materials, brick affords exceptional design flexibility, which lends itself well to creating unique flooring, outdoor seating and fire places,” says Carlie. “Brick can be laid in a range of bonds to create pattern and visual interest. Because of their depth, bricks can be split to allow for drainage and easily transition from horizontal to vertical planes (to create fire places or seating, for example). They also retain heat, helping to create warm and comfortable spaces for cooler evenings,” says Carlie.
Landscape architect, Dan Young, agrees that the use of brick outdoors is on the rise. “The use of brick as a hardscaping material is growing across Europe, where brickwork is an inherent part of the built environment. In Australia, it’s appearing in more public outdoor spaces and we’re slowly starting to see brick used in residential landscaping,” he says. “Rethinking the use of building materials such as brick for landscaping provides new design opportunities. If you can use brick for a constructed wall, why not lay it on the ground as flooring or use its depth to create seating or fire places,” says Dan.