If what we saw at the Think Brick Awards in Melbourne last Thursday is anything to go by, brilliant things can – and do – happen when architects and building designers “think brick”.
August 28th, 2019
In Australia, the brick industry is worth $2.8 billion and employs over 30,000. As the industry’s peak body, Think Brick Australia exists to represent Australia’s clay brick and paver manufacturers and inspire brick architecture in all areas of the built environment. This sentiment is the foundation of the Think Brick Awards – an elaborate annual celebration of innovation and craftsmanship through building with brick.
It all began in 2005, when Think Brick decided to engage seven architects to deliver their visions of what a brick home of the future might look like. Since then the Think Brick Awards have continuously encouraged architects to push boundaries and reimagine the application of brick, block, pavers and roof tiles in contemporary design.
What started out as a humble project to reimagine the use of brick in Australian residential architecture quickly grew. In 2008 Think Brick introduced two new award categories rewarding innovation and craftsmanship in brickwork in the context of commercial and urban / landscape architecture. The Kevin Borland Masonry Award was later introduced in 2013, followed by the inclusion of the Robin Dods Roof Tile Excellence Award in 2014.
In celebration of these five award categories and the 2019 nominees for each, a sizable – not to mention reputable – crowd congregated at The Crown Palladium, Melbourne, last Thursday evening for the annual Think Brick Awards. And what an impressive occasion it was. Following the event, Think Brick Australia’s CEO, Elizabeth McIntyre commented, “The winners last night displayed some of the boldest and bravest designs ever submitted to the Think Brick Awards.”
Amongst the winners were the likes of Koichi Takada Architects’ Arc and ROC by Smart Design Studio; two such exceptional and inspiring examples of how brick can be used that the two practices were named joint winners of the Horbury Hunt Commercial Award. Meanwhile, Renato D’Ettorre Architects took home the Horbury Hunt Residential Award, thanks to GB House’s ‘unexpected use of brick’. “The perforated design of the terracotta bricks allows light to flow in and open up the property, creating a stunning house which sits perfectly in its locality,” said Elizabeth.
Here’s your full list of the 2019 Think Brick Award category winners:
Arc by Koichi Takada Architects | Joint winner of the Horbury Hunt Commercial Award
“A sign of maturity of the use of brick in Australia. A very special contribution to the city of Sydney.” – 2019 Think Brick Awards Jury
ROC by Smart Design Studio | Joint winner of the Horbury Hunt Commercial Award
“Bold, brave and harkens back to the glory days of public infrastructure. The brickwork is incredibly sculptural, and the project has a lovely human scale.” – 2019 Think Brick Awards Jury
Doubleground by MUIR Architecture + OPENWORK | Winner of the Bruce Mackenzie Landscape Award
“Brick is used as a tapestry to weave within the confines and context of the art gallery space. It’s surprising in its context and is a generous public gesture.” – 2019 Think Brick Awards Jury
House at Otago Bay by Topology Studio | Winner of the Kevin Borland Masonry Award
“This project had a thorough understanding of the constraints and possibilities of masonry. It sits quietly in the landscape, incredibly resolved.” – 2019 Think Brick Awards Jury
Subiaco House by Vokes and Peters | Winner of the Robin Dods Roof Tile Excellence Award
“Spatially and geometrically nuanced. It showcases the elegance and complex forms of a roof tile when detailed correctly with care.” – 2019 Think Brick Awards Jury
1+2 House by Curious Practice | Winner of the New Entrant Award
“Humble with a beautifully considered composition. This project approaches the basics of construction and is able to find delight and invention in them.” – 2019 Think Brick Awards Jury
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