Bespoke or Custom Brick Design - What is the Difference?

Bespoke or custom brick design and architecture enhance not only the aesthetics but also the functionality and livability of a building.

But what is the difference between bespoke and custom design? And how can StoneCycling help you design a custom or bespoke product? A short overview:

Bespoke or Custom Brick Design - What is the Difference?
Bespoke Development with TANK Architects

Bespoke or Custom Architecture?

We often hear the words ‘bespoke’ and ‘custom’ being used almost interchangeably, because they have a similar meaning. But if you look at the details (which we love at StoneCycling), there is quite a big difference.


The adjective ‘custom’ describes a process where we alter one of our existing brick recipes to the taste or usage of a specific project.

For example, we can work on making a colour from our current range slightly lighter or darker, or change the tone of colour of the brick completely. Or we can change the moulds we use to create a standard WasteBasedBricks® into the required dimension specificities for your building.

An example of a custom project we completed is “DOK1620” in Amsterdam, where we made optimal use of a thick format Pistachio WasteBasedBrick® (210x100x65mm) from which 14 different shaped bricks have been cut.

In doing so, all corners and recesses of the building could be covered with through-and-through green brick.

Click here for more information on our custom-made service

StoneCycling || Dok1620 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
StoneCycling WasteBasedBricks® - Pistachio Custom Sizes
Custom-Made Pistachio WasteBasedBricks ®

Another example of custom development can be seen at “Technique” in London, where we used the Mushroom WasteBasedBrick® from another project as a reference to create nuance in colour in line with the architect’s vision.

This collaboration slightly changed the Mushroom’s recipe and production method to allow for a more considerable variation in grey tones.

StoneCycling || Technique in London, UK
StoneCycling || Technique in London, UK


The adjective ‘bespoke’ describes anything commissioned to a particular specification. Regarding bespoke brick design, we’re talking about developing a WasteBasedBrick® from scratch.

Using our bespoke brick service, you can fully influence the end product’s colour, texture and finish.

At “The West” in New York, we were challenged to create a brick in a MacBook’s ‘space grey’ colour. What followed was a year of closely working together to develop the Truffle WasteBasedBrick® with the right brick colour and texture for this large-scale project in Manhattan.

No less than 42 different shapes and sizes of this brick were made to fully cover each corner and curve of the facade with its unique shiny grey/silver look.

How We Turn Waste into Unique Bespoke Bricks With Your Input || StoneCycling
StoneCycling Bespoke Service

For the fintech company “Adyen” office in Amsterdam, we had to look beyond our standard Orange WasteBasedBricks®. Together with the architect, we talked about producing a more terracotta-coloured brick for the furniture and part of the flooring.

In the reference material, we looked at several Italian terracotta products such as tiles and roof tiles and collaborated closely to achieve the final, Mediterranean-type colour of the product.

While this was a bespoke design, we created a truly unique surface texture on the product without the need for a completely different production technique. In short, we created a large tile, which was able to drop from the mould without the usage of sand creating a unique, almost water-stricken surface.

Future-Proof Office Space with Adyen in Amsterdam || StoneCycling
Future-Proof Office Space with Adyen in Amsterdam || StoneCycling
Credit: TANK / Teo Krijgsman

Finally, for a new installation building at the university campus in the city of Leiden in The Netherlands, we developed a bespoke WasteBasedBrick® in a unique format (190x90x90mm).

The architect’s design featured an intrinsic masonry bond where flora and fauna could easily nestle, and we created custom cornerstones as well as a brick with a bespoke colour nuance and rustic texture to really bring the building to life.

This technical building got a unique look with the specially sized and laid bricks, creating vertical creases in the facade that resemble the natural shell of a petrified treebark, according to the architect.

Natuur Inclusief Paviljoen voor Universiteit Leiden
Natuur Inclusief Paviljoen voor Universiteit Leiden

The Beauty of Waste

As you can see, there is so much beauty we can achieve when we combine a building’s function with our flexible waste-based recipes and the design vision of an architect.

Especially when it comes to our bespoke brick development service, there is much more we are able to create. Think about the possibilities of working with waste-based glazes or using waste materials from a donor building to enhance the design and unique story of a building.

Stay tuned, because in our next article, we will share more about the step-by-step process of bespoke development and show you what’s possible when working with coarse ceramics.

Are you interested in exploring a bespoke development?

We’re excited that you are interested in developing a bespoke or custom-made brick. Do you need some advice to make the right decision? Our brick experts are here to help.