The versatility and associated benefits of clay face brick allow it to extend across all sectors of the construction industry, forming a vital component of massive developments, hospitals and schools or even an aesthetically modern residential home. One such example is a recently constructed home situated in Eldo Ridge Estate, Eldoraigne, Pretoria.
The face bricks were used throughout to ground the building in its natural context. All the curved elements - which are a feature of the building exterior but require a sense of enclosure and solidity internally - were built using face brick. This includes the study, staircase, exterior fire pit enclosure, braai area and ablutions.
The arc of the walls contributes to the flow of spaces within the house while adding complexity and appeal to the exterior aesthetic. The face brick material enhances the juxtaposition of clean lines and hard materials against organic forms and natural brick textures.
The bricks were laid in a header bond pattern where the curves became too tight to use a standard stretcher bond. This pattern allowed for smaller increments of angle change between each brick and thus a smoother look to the curve. The walls were then topped with a roller course in matching brickwork so as not to break to feel of a solid brick form with the use of alternative coping materials.
The owner said that the outstanding quality of the brickwork and other elements of the building is due to the experience and perfectionist attention to detail of the building contractor NGA Construction.
Every opportunity was taken to open the house up with large glazed areas and roofs pitched to allow maximum light and views. However, where containment and intimacy were required, the round forms were inserted into the rectilinear plan to provide a welcome relief and enhance the personal nature of the building.
According to SNAPP Architects, the Satin face bricks were selected in conjunction with the client because of the smooth, uniform finish which perfectly complements the aesthetic of the building, as well as personal tastes. In addition, the use of face brick and off-shutter concrete for large portions of the building reduced the amount of exterior maintenance and up-keep required for the home, which is hugely beneficial in the long run.
“Corobrik’s clay face brick has a number of associated benefits that has seen it used in the construction of both private and state buildings across the country,” explained Corobrik’s commercial director, Musa Shangase. “Thermal efficiency for a more moderate indoor temperature, noise insulation and fire resistance have made them sought-after bricks in both large and small-scale construction, while the low maintenance promoted through the lack of plastering and painting materials continues to show its cost effectiveness. And, at the end of the day, the clay face brick is an attractive product, available in a variety of earthy tones, which makes it such a popular option for residential units such as this.”