• James Treble

Think Brick Awards

This year celebrates the 12th year of the THINK BRICK AWARDS, which as the name suggests, celebrate and highlight Australian architecture and overseas projects created by Australians, using brick as their major component. Thanks to PGH bricks who kindly hosted me for the event, I was fortunate to be part of a fantastic evening at the Crown Melbourne, celebrating some amazing work by Australian Design and Architecture firms, collectively proving that this age old building material is as contemporary as ever.

A team of experts formed the jury for the awards this year, each coming from a diverse background of architectural disciplines, and the result was a high calibre selection of residential, commercial and public structures, highlighting just how very wide the use of masonry materials can be, when put in the hands of strong creatives. Here is a quick list of the winners:

Horbury Hunt Commercial Award - Joint Winner

This award was so hotly contested that the jury ended up awarding two works as joint winners. The AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY – BANGKOK by BVN reflects the unique colours found in the Australian landscape using three different bricks, combined to create a stunning structure that feels grounded and solid, yet somehow soft thanks to its flowing and organicly curved brick walls.

Horbury Hunt Commercial Award - Joint Winner

The other winning entry was the LEARNING AND TEACHING BUILDING AT MONASH UNIVERSITY CLAYTON CAMPUS by JOHN WARDLE ARCHITECTS, with a work which seems to defy the eye, again offering stunning curves, with layers of tonal colour which appear to float, creating visual interest and lightness with a product which we know has such weight and mass.

Horbury Hunt Residential Award

The winner of the residential award was APARTMENT HOUSE by KERSTIN THOMPSON ARCHITECTS, a home which makes such a street statement with its grand and imposing façade. This creates an opaque screen which floods the internal of the home with natural light; in stark contrast it presents to the streetscape a bold almost impenetrable feel. From the inside a far lighter design element with its filtered effect, this clever facade also allows in that all important natural light and warmth in winter, whilst keeping out the heat of Australia’s harsh summers.

Bruce Mackenzie Landscape Award

The simple yet striking impact of the textural wall created for MELBOURNE ZOO PREDATOR PRECINCT PLEDGE WALL by OLA STUDIO made a big impact on the well-dressed crowd at the Think Brick Awards. An age old effect created by allowing bricks to sit forward of the main wall is used here to create great texture, also contrasting a vertical linear design with the softer sloping height of the wall and its gentles curves around the site.

Kevin Borland Masonry Award

To say I was excited about the winner of this award is an understatement, as I’ve become a strong supporter of the work of this Melbourne based design duo. HIGHBURY GROVE by RITZ & GHOUGASSIAN is a stunning residential home which combines polished concrete floors, striking stack bond masonry walls and rich timber grains, resulting in a modern, edgy home, yet warm and very inviting. Having shared a table with this dynamic pair and witnessed their winning of the “Emerging Interiors Design Practice” award at the AUSTRALIAN INTERIOR DESIGN AWARDS, earlier in the year, I held high odds for this entry, and I’m pleased to see that view was also agreed upon by the Jury. The strong use of the grey masonry brick was repeated throughout the project in a bold and linear stack bond pattern, with some slight texture added by offsetting the bricks externally and playing with simplicity of lines in the home's design. Stunning!

Robin Dods Roof Tile Excellence Awards

It's always exciting to see materials being used in a different way than expected, and the highly textural wall created by the winner in this category, delighted everyone, as a unique and interesting way to use a traditional roofing material. THE BEEHIVE by RAFFAELLO ROSSELLI ARCHITECTS with LUIGI ROSSELLI ARCHITECTS provides a geometric highly textural feature to the façade of this building, creating the perfect way to harness natural light yet repeal the harsh sun from this west facing wall.

Truly remarkable work! But many more were the exciting entries, and for more information about the Highly Commended works and all the entrants, their materials and more inspiring images visit THINK BRICK AWARDS website.

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.


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