Sometimes we choose not to see beautiful things. In most cases, this is not a deliberate or conscious occurrence, but somehow, everyday life has a habit of blinding us from the beauty that surrounds us. Time, or lack of, is usually the culprit. But now that time is on our hands, we can pause, reevaluate and look forward. And when our feet hit the streets of London again, we’ll walk with fresh eyes, and a new sense of appreciation.
Because, in London town, there is always newness. Our cityscape is always changing, but how quickly does that newness lose its appeal? Brushing past architectural details, but not really appreciating their beauty.
But today’s quietness brings a unique opportunity; now is the time to rethink. Because when we move on from this period, we should not forget the extraordinary things we take for granted.
Today, we find ourselves restricted. We long to be outside, and we miss the simplest of pleasures. Seeing beautiful things is no longer a given. But this will not last forever. Let’s take a look overseas, and see what architectural inspirations we can bring to the UK.
Campus Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH), Sweden
A modern campus building for University students. The dark grey mortar is colour matched to the brick, and applied with a characterful technique. This leaves behind an unusual and dense textural footprint, contrasting dramatically against the transparent glass roof.
An office building at Oslo’s waterfront. It’s suspended meeting rooms break architectural convention, and overhang on the east façade of the building. This creates a unique view through floor-to-ceiling windows. The New York-inspired fire escape winds outside on the east, and the meeting rooms along the façade completes the sculptural aesthetic.
The full height tile façade means that the weight is brought down to the foundation. This means that the displaced window positions result in increased loads on the brick beams; with the load brought down to the foundation, the 17 shift high prefabricated tile beams are specifically manufactured to support the construction. The meeting boxes are suspended in a bearing steel structure with suspended bricklifts along the underside of the boxes, and the thickness of the tile ceilings is just 35 mm. This is an architectural triumph, and shows a creativity we want to emulate in our capital.
The Leaning Tower
An innovative property that stands in Aalborg City center. It’s distinct sloping façade has been achieved with the assistance of Randers Tegl as the performing contractor. The team designed and planned the necessary expansion joints, as well as suspension principles and masonry course according to the placement of brick bellows. The unique project design, and complexity in façade, posed extra special requirements for the building's carrying capacity. Teamwork, ingenuity and craftsmanship at its finest.
This masonry masterpiece is something quite out of the ordinary. Swirling waves of bricks swell through the entire structure’s façade, creating a drawing three-dimensional expression. The undulating details are further emphasised by the subtle nuances in color scheme. This has been achieved by the subtle nuances in brick colour choice, and the architects colour play in our soft-molded Prime collection.
Take a look at the collection here: https://www.uk-brick.com/products
Music school, Austria
The new music school and library in Wolfurt, Austria. It fits into this existing ensemble of school, kindergarten, clubhouse, municipal office and hotel. The brass façade, faced towards the street, and creates a dynamic contrast against the building's other material choices. Twelve striking, wide-framed square windows mark the music classes behind it. Metal and clay harmony, at it’s finest
We are all poised to rediscover. And we are all ready to appreciate the beautiful things that surround us everyday. But, more than that, we are starting to appreciate the things that we can’t see. And will never see. Isolation is tough, but somehow, it has brought a togetherness. It has given us the time to pause, and to appreciate what is really important.
The most important, beautiful things will forever remain unseen. Community, teamwork and togetherness are the focus for our next decade. Let’s build some incredible communities, and never forget to appreciate what is in front of our eyes.