04 Jan 2016

Stunning Belfast build wins Brick Award


Following Church Road being crowned winner of 'Best Housing Development 1-5 Units' at the recent Brick Awards, i-build reflects on the use of red brick on this stunning Belfast property.


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Occupying a steeply sloping site, this house benefits from open, elevated views across an adjacent golf course, and the city beyond, to distant hills that surround Belfast. This unusual urban aspect is the driver for the design approach with the main rooms orientated towards this view.

Envisaged as three distinct mono-roofed forms which relate in an interesting but informal relationship to each other, the main entrance is approached over a wide bridge, which, due to the steeply sloping site, provides entry to the middle floor, with views from the entrance hall over a courtyard to the landscape beyond.

The connections between these forms are designed as expressed recesses so that each piece is distinct and legible; the detailing is carefully considered to support a strong elemental quality to these forms. The bricklaying has been very well executed with special care taken with recess junctions and the brick soffits to recessed windows.

Dramatically modern

Flush glass–to–brick window–details were developed with a specialist contractor who also worked on The Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC) where such details were originally used. Two projecting glazed bays in the main living spaces allow a more focussed and deliberate connection between the interior and the elevated views over the mature environment of the golf course.

The steep slope has been exploited by the architect to inspire the design of the house as strikingly handsome and dramatically modern, but the use of brick softens the sharp lines and gives the building a pleasing general atmosphere with the combination of sharp modernity and warm familiarity.

The architect contacted Wienerberger after previous experience on The MAC project where it used the same brick – Mellowed Red Sovereign Stock. The client wanted to build a property that had a rural feel to it and the Mellowed Red Sovereign Stock matched their requirement.

The house perfectly complements the surrounding street scene and landscape. Some properties feature similar red bricks also specified from Wienerberger while others feature handmade bricks, stone and render.

While there are many options available on the market, clay bricks are a firm favourite among housebuilders due to their inherent properties. Clay bricks are strong and durable and are the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable solution for modern buildings.

Thanks to their characteristics, bricks are able to provide complete long-term sustainability giving a building life of up to 150 years. Advantages over reclaimed bricks include more colour choice, they’re versatile, guaranteed supply and traceability. They also have technical performance guarantees, which reclaimed bricks don’t have.

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