The Secret to Making Brick Luxurious

The Secret to Making Brick Luxurious


I’ve always loved bricks. The textures, dark colors, and even the options to paint it for an even finish.  It is material proven over many centuries of construction and the benefits are well known in the building industry.

  • Genuine clay bricks are made from natural materials.
  • Brick buildings have a long life proven over thousands of years.
  • Brick offers superior protection over other wall cladding materials.
  • Bricks look better, for far longer and with less maintenance, than other building materials.
  • Brick is naturally energy-efficient.
  • Brick is the most sustainable green building material made. 

It’s standardized shapes, warm fired colors, and human scale make users feel welcome and more comfortable. The design possibilities are endless and on the spectrum of styles, you will find traditional designs as well as contemporary structures.  As a masonry material is creates a sense of permanence and strength.  The work of French architect J. Lacroux and Chinese architect Wang Shu are great examples.

The discussion of brick architecture could fill a volume but here I’d like to focus on a special brick detail that can be used to take a design to a whole new level. I’m talking about the use of shaped bricks in the design of a building.  Shaped bricks break the regular rectangular geometry and give the exterior a sculptural element allowing it to compete with the carved stone facades we usually design.  Where a modular brick creates flat or perforated surfaces and stepped geometric forms, a shaped brick adds the detail and softness seen in the most elegant and detailed designs.  The curved ornament can be seen in the water-table profiles, window trim, eave cornices, and dramatic building entries. Since brick is usually understood to be a sharp geometry, the detailed and curved shapes are immediately grab our attention.

Suppliers likely have a few shapes in their catalogues which designers can use but since it is a man-made material the brick company can create a mold to match almost any custom design idea the architect can dream up.  To make the design even richer a brick façade can be combined with the smooth stone details of a contrasting color to emphasize its formal nature.

WA360 is currently designing a series of luxury mansions in southern China where we are able to use brick on several of the styles.  We are excited to explore the possibilities that shaped bricks bring to the high-end market.



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