If you look into the definition of a wall, it is an architectural structure designed to protect inside from outside primarily from intrusion, to define a boundary and to block views from outside for personal privacy. These lattice and perforated walls define a new type of welcoming boundary between private and public areas.
Sustainable and locally produced, ceramic clay brick is culturally significant in South African architecture. The natural color of brick never fades or tarnishes under the African sun while its very presence in modern homes of steel and glass, implicitly tethers us to the earth. With free insulation properties that regulate temperature and humidity, it is no surprise why brick has always been popular in architecture across the country.
Clay brick is a simple material to build with, making construction inexpensive and accessible. The following projects rely on brick especially for these reasons. Clay brick is easy to source even outside metropolitan areas (see our Member map) and bricklaying provides jobs and promotes wealth creation in small communities.
Although brick has been used for millennia and is a very basic material, these projects demonstrate that it can still be used in new and innovative ways. Rather than settling for obvious manifestations of strength and security, these architects challenge the material by creating perforated walls and screens, contrasting solidity with openness and rigidity with versatility.
This gallery gives examples of lattices constructed out of common bricks - simple in design and execution but stunning in outcome. But these screens were not designed purely for aesthetic reasons; the punctured brick façades also allow for natural ventilation and daylight, making the best of our mild climate. It is proof that clay brick is affordable and undeniably "for good" in terms of both permanence and sustainability.