08 February, 2019
FOR THE LOVE OF BRICKS
Valli, our resident placemaker has been enthusing about the book she just bought.... about bricks. After quite a lot of office banter, we asked her to explain a bit more about her her love of bricks, and why she's so happy to have a new book celebrating them.
"I have been waiting in anticipation for the publication of 'Brick' by Phaidon and what a joy it is to hold! I've been passionate about bricks for a long time - and teased by my colleagues more than once. It is a pleasure to know that William Hall clearly shares this fascination.
I love bricks because they are warm and timeless, connecting us back to the early days of construction around the world. And I love them too because they are unpretentious and tactile.
When I flick through the pages, it's hard to say which of the many brick buildings and structures I prefer. If I was pushed, I would have to say page 355 because it reminds me of the patchwork of bricks across Sugar House Island. I like it particularly for the way it knits together old and new, and that it is low key.
The love of bricks was first kindled when our team here on site began clearing away derelict warehouses and in a layer of soil unearthed a small clay brick. They estimated it dated back to the 15-1600s. It was lovely because of its age yet looks as though it was made recently. It also has a small cat paw print in its surface - a pre-Elizabethan cat must have walked across the bricks before they dried in the sun.
The site at Sugar House Island celebrates heritage - and bricks - in many ways. We are renovating three brick warehouse buildings from the Victorian era, adding modern CLT and glass structures to extent them. We have reclaimed bricks from old warehouses we dismantled, and we'll reuse them in a new bar and live music venue we're building. We're dismantling three chimneys to clean the bricks and re-erect them into a pedestrianised street with cafes connecting the new business hub, Dane's Yard, with a riverside walk.
The form of the site remembers this heritage too. Dane's Yard's masterplan recreates the old yards and alleyways between these warehouse buildings, and the first two new offices along High Street, Stratford have been designed with a two-storey plinth to remember the old brick buildings which once stood there.
So, given all this focus on bricks, it's not surprising I am delighted with this wonderful book!"
BACK TO LIST PREVIOUS | NEXT ARTICLE