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Best in brick: 7 stunning building façades made with brick [slideshow]

The Brick Industry Association named the winners of its 2013 Brick in Architecture Awards. Here are seven winning projects that caught our eye. 

July 19, 2013 |
The Brick Industry Association has honored stunning architecture that incorporates fired clay brick. With new categories this year including Renovation/Restoration, the 2013 Brick in Architecture Awards span almost half the country in 21 states.
Of the 36 winning projects, here are seven that caught our eye:





1. Farm Credit Services of America Corporate Office Building 2

Omaha, Neb.

The Clark Enersen Partners; Sampson Construction


This project is an expansion connected via skywalk to an existing corporate headquarters. It seeks to reinforce the agriculture-inspired concepts of the original building (2002) that reflect the mission and culture of the client. The design of the building and site work together to connect occupants not only to their immediate surroundings but also to the client’s many locations throughout the Midwest. The new 77,000-square-foot facility for 225 employees features an open work plan and abundant use of natural light to promote a healthy work environment. Conscience effort was made to use local materials, such as brick, in unique ways to contribute to abstract agricultural concepts. 





2. Cougar Woods Dining Hall


PageSoutherlandPage; SpawGlass; Haynes Whaley Associates; Walter P Moore


Cougar Woods Dining Hall is the newest and only free-standing dining facility on the University of Houston main campus. The 25,000-square-foot building is a hub for the adjacent on-campus student housing and also serves as an entry marker to the central portion of campus from perimeter housing sites and the surrounding neighborhood.

On an undeveloped tract at the edge of the interior campus, the building is located to maximize retention of the existing old growth trees. With seating for 600 people, the building is a focal point for student life with shaded exterior dining adjacent to major pedestrian pathways.

The $6.7M building, which is targeting Silver LEED certification, is an entry marker to the central portion of campus from scattered perimeter housing sites and surrounding neighborhood. Materials of brick, glass and precast shell limestone recall the existing palette of the UH campus.





3. University of Pennsylvania Law School


Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd; Hunter Roberts Construction Group; Halkin Architectural Photography


The new Golkin Hall completes Penn Law’s architectural vision for a unified and interdisciplinary urban law campus and advances innovative cross-disciplinary legal education. The building establishes a civic scaled public entry on Sansom Street which opens onto the central law courtyard, connecting for the first time, the larger University with the School's campus.

The site is adjacent to the monumental 19th-century Georgian-style brick Silverman Hall, the school’s former main entry and existing public face. In relation to that legacy, the new project uses masonry to define the image of a 21st Century Law School – one in which collaboration and inter-disciplinary study play an important role. Golkin Hall is designed as both building and bridge: it links three existing Law buildings at several levels through new bridges, roof terraces, and a 2,000sf renovated student lounge.

As the new entry to the Penn Law campus, Golkin Hall plays a central role in its administration, academic, and social life. The ground floor includes the Law School’s executive offices; the lower level includes a 350-seat auditorium, moot-court room, and student center; and the upper two floors house faculty and business offices, all connected by a light-filled four-story atrium.






4. Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy


STR Partners; FH Paschen; Hedrich Blessing (photographer); Steinkamp Photography (photographer)


The Goode STEM Academy symbolizes CPS and Chicago’s continued commitment to providing the most modern school facilities and the fullest opportunities to all citizens. As the newest building in the Modern Schools Across Chicago Initiative, it uses the Urban Model High School prototype design, which places an emphasis on flexibility, adaptability, and community accessibility.

To maximize the amenities for student and community use in an efficient and economical building layout, there are multi-use spaces such as the full size gym that serves multiple sports and performance needs. Flexibility for future district needs are seen in the largely identical second and third floors, allowing for subdivision into two academies if needed. Each is self-contained, with classrooms, labs, lockers, faculty offices, and a student commons area connected to the multi-story atrium. Throughout the building and site, students have breakout spaces to convene and extend learning, such as the reading gardens, community gardens and gathering spaces.

Elements to encourage and educate sustainable design concepts are highlighted around the building and site, including geothermal heat pumps, solar heating of pool water, and features like rainwater harvesting, community gardens, indigenous plantings, green roofs and a bird sanctuary.





5. New Settlement Community Campus


Dattner Architects; Turner Construction Company; Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects; David Sundberg (photographer)


The 172,000 square foot New Settlement Community Campus occupies a busy urban block in the Bronx, NY. The facility houses three schools for 1,100 Pre-K to 12th graders, including children with special needs, with 56 classrooms, a cafeteria, a 350-seat auditorium, and a library; the community center serves the neighborhood and includes a pool, dance studio, green roof, and multipurpose spaces—all shared with the school.

The library occupies a prominent position and cantilevers to provide shelter for the school's main entrance. A two-story red brick commons wing parallels an elevated subway train and intersects a four-story buff brick classroom wing that bends away from the street. The contrasting brick colors and course patterns distinguish the two wings. A graduated vertical pattern of darker projecting brick articulates the classroom wing's cream-colored brick façade, which is perpendicular to the elevated train to minimize noise.

The interplay of massing, materials, and patterning creates scale and interest for the block-long building. A horizontal glazed opening reveals the community center entry and opens the pool below to the neighborhood. The brick masonry and cast stone echo the adjacent neighborhood buildings.




6. Warren Cultural Center

Greenfield, Iowa

INVISION Planning Architecture Interiors; Lang Construction Group, Inc.


The Warren Opera House and Hetherington Blocks of Greenfield stand as well-preserved examples of Iowa’s commercial architecture from the late 19th century. The interior arrangement of the opera house block, featuring entertainment, commercial and residential space, was typical of the state’s small-town opera houses. The project, completed on an aggressive timeline, restored three buildings following the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.





7. Triangle Brick Co. Corporate Office and Design Center

Durham, N.C.

Clark Nexsen; Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee; Barnhill Contracting Company


The Triangle Brick Corporate Office, Design Center and Brick Garden were constructed to be much more than a typical office building, rather a testament to the beauty and architectural appeal of brick. 



Read about the 2013 Brick in Architecture Awards

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