I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with masonry and brick. The banal, everywhere, front-façade-only, use of brick veneer on a generic house, well… that can go jump in a lake. But highly expressive, truthfully used, rich textured brick, made even better when it’s got history and patina? From what I’ve posted before on this blog, I think it’s quite clear that I’m totally into that.
This one can’t fulfill the history and patina part, but no matter; feast your eyes on this beauty!
If there was a picture needed for “expressive brick”, this, without a doubt, would fit the bill perfectly. There’s so much going on, it’s hard to know where to begin. A reinterpretation of a traditional fortress, it’s got inward-canted walls, rounded (or not!) corners, a dark stone base that rises into a vibrant brick top, bits of stone or brick that jut out or are recessed inward, and it culminates with arching brick latticeworks that top it off like a crown. All this then further punctuated by patterned concrete boxes that poke out to form rooms or balconies. It’s exquisite.
And it gets even better within. Formed around a central shaft and stair, the different levels spiral upwards, creating numerous courtyards and porches and allowing nearly all parts of the house to be visually connected to each other. The latticed stone and brick are left exposed inside, often further articulated and accentuated to provide a rich backdrop and a sense of solidity. Best of all is the quality of light, sifting through the openings and lattices in ways both dramatic and serene.
Can this get much better? How about yes; the openings were not arbitrary and were instead designed with the venturi effect in mind to naturally cool and ventilate the house, and the roof collects water in a traditional kund and stores the excess in a cistern. It’s designed to be a part of the world, not apart from it.
Needless to say, great stuff. A wonderful piece of work.