Collecting Your Ideas
Perhaps the most important step for our brick designers is to understand exactly what you have in mind. This usually starts with sending back and forth reference images and snapshots of materials and other inspirational objects. Sometimes it even includes referencing specific songs or Netflix series. Here are two examples to illustrate this:
From Macbook to Building Facade
For The West in New York, the architects of Concrete came to us with a unique request: “We are designing the façade and are thinking of using window frames in the colour of the Space Gray Macbook Pro. Can you design a brick that matches this? We want it to be shiny and space-like.”
This was the start of further developing our Truffle WasteBasedBrick® into a brick façade in Manhattan that is nearly ready, upcycling more than 260.000 kilograms of waste.
From Peaky Blinders to Redevelopment
Another architect came to us while working on the redevelopment of an old distillery. The location of this distillery used to be an old industrial area, with heavy air pollution due to the burning of charcoal by the factories. He is now looking for a brick that captures this historic, industrial atmosphere.
At first, we had a hard time understanding his idea. But then he said: “it’s a bit like the vibe of the architecture you get in the Netflix series Peaky Blinders.” This really helped us to understand the vibe he is trying to recreate.
Setting the Scope for Your Bespoke Brick
After the successful transfer of ideas from the mind of the architect or designer, it is important to understand what needs to be done to translate those ideas into actual bricks.
In the ideal case we invite the project team (i.e. the architect, developer and contractor) to our production location. More recently, we’ve been holding these meetings via video-conference. During this multi-disciplinary meeting we zoom in on topics such as:
The design of the bespoke brick
There’s a lot more to the design of a sustainable brick than just the colour. By showing examples and references we look not just at colour, but also at texture, size, shape and quality.
We also consider specials (not standard brick shapes) and discuss if there are options to use the tailor-made brick in a more optimal way.
An example of this is the project we did with Nando’s in the United Kingdom. We produced a bespoke Salt+Pepper brick with the dimensions 200*120*40 mm in the Raw finish.
From each brick, we cut off a brick slip of 20 mm. This meant that from one product, we could create both a full brick (200*100*40 mm) and a brick slip (200*20*40 mm).
The full brick was used to create a dividing interior wall, showing both the Raw finish and the Sliced finish. The brick slips were used in other parts of the restaurant. This process allowed the client to use various finishes and also save costs on material because of the extra brick slip.
Efficient production and application
Our production team also sets the scope for the bespoke brick at a very early stage.
It is important to make the translation of the possibilities and limitations of the factory in producing a custom brick that is in line with the requirements of the design.
A bespoke bespoke brick is only possible if it fits within the budget of the project. By setting a price range early in the project, we try to be as transparent as possible towards all stakeholders.
As you can read in our Custom Made solutions, a custom product usually starts at € 140 per m² for full bricks and € 90 for brick slips (material only), but this price can go up significantly depending on the wishes of the client. After setting the scope we’re able to calculate the price of your final product.
Translating Ideas Into Custom Bricks
After receiving a formal ‘go’ on the scope, our brick designers start working on the initial samples. Much like a chef in a kitchen, they start tweaking the recipes by changing the ingredients.
Together with production, we decide on the best method of processing the recipe in the factory. This leads to initial samples that give a good impression of the range of colours and textures within a production batch.
These initial samples are being presented to the project team. In a maximum of two iterations we work towards the perfect bespoke brick for your architectural project. Once we achieve this, we start preparing for production.
To give you an example, recently we produced the Wasabi Raw WasteBasedBrick® for the first time for an interior project in the Netherlands. In the past we’ve created various samples of Wasabi, but never on a larger scale.
By doing so, we found out that the Wasabi is actually a collection of many tones of green, resulting in almost an impressionist-like painting when used as wall cladding.
Do you want to create your own sustainable bespoke bricks for your façade? Reach out to our sales team to investigate the possibilities.