Published by:
July 17, 2019

Traditional Materials Made Fresh

Few materials are as iconic in American academic settings as classic red brick. Durable enough to last for decades and virtually maintenance-free, brick has long been a first choice for university planners, who often give brick a place of honor on their lists of design guidelines. That popularity remains today, but architects also are exploring new ways to keep this traditional material fresh.

The Brick Industry Assn.’s Brick in Architecture awards have highlighted several projects over the last few years that illustrate the creative approaches architects have taken to make this ancient building material new again at a number of American universities. These designs all have the dual effect of relating the new facilities to surrounding campuses that might be a century or more old, while also making design statements intended to stay relevant for the decades—and students—yet to come.

Below is a look back at a few Brick in Architecture Award winners and the materials that enabled their outcomes.

New & Noteworthy

Suspended Animation

Kent State University sited its new Center for Architecture & Environmental Design as a bridge between town and gown, on the edge of its campus, adjacent to downtown Kent, Ohio. Aiming for LEED Platinum certification, Weiss/Manfredi’s architects selected brick that was produced locally. And they got their own lessons in how brick is fired and in how its color can shift based on how it’s produced from supplier Belden Brick.

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Driven by Data

For the University of Rochester's Goergen Institute of Data Science building KVA Vice Principal J. Frano Violich, FAIA and his team worked with Glen-Gery to develop a 12-in. version of their classic 55-DD brick. The new brick was used for the protruding headers, which were installed, cantilever fashion, to extend 8 in. out from the 4-in. thick brick exterior wall. While Violich says the patterning was easy to adjust, thanks to today’s design software, the installation involved a team of masons with decades of experience.

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A Sense of Place

The student center at the University of the District of Columbia has taken to calling the plaza its “front porch,” and it’s easy to see why. It leads to a grand staircase, with steps sized for seating, that heads up to a new quadrangle and the rest of the campus, beyond. Its highlight is the undulating pattern of red and cream Boardwalk Pavers from Whitacre Greer. The dynamic patterning provides easy wayfinding to the student union’s entrance.

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Be Bold — Copper Metallic finish Snap-Clad Metal Roof

While the color is certainly eye-catching, it was the classic Snap-Clad PAC-CLAD profile that first caught the attention of Clarice Jones, project architect with Catania Engineering Associates, the restaurant’s design firm. She knew the standing seams on the 10,500 sq. ft. of Snap-Clad roof panels – complemented by a matching 1,500 sq. ft. of vented PAC-750 Soffit Panels – would emphasize the crisp lines of the building’s contemporary façade. See the full case study.

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Providing Access & Natural Light

The type GS roof hatch offers the security and convenience of a BILCO roof hatch with the added benefits of a skylight. Products feature a polycarbonate dome cover, aluminum construction and easy one-hand operation. The hatch is constructed with corrosion-resistant materials and is fully gasketed for weathertightness. BILCO roof hatches provide safe and convenient access to roof areas on a variety of commercial and institutional buildings, including: factories, hospitals, manufacturing plants, shopping centers, storage facilities and more.

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Stationary Awnings Offer Functionality in All Seasons

Feeney’s new line of high-quality, stationary awnings are designed to provide maximum protection in a wide variety of climates, while providing a beautiful exterior accent to your home or business.

Feeney’s sleek, modern Icon Awning and classically beautiful Era Awning will not only provide the design style you are searching for, but also deliver the durability and ease of installation you desire. Start your awning project with a base kit, then add on extensions or corner kit(s) as needed.

Powder-coated finishes available in all Classic and Express Yourself colors. Additional colors available for custom order. Polycarbonate panels have three options: Clear, Textured, and Gray Tint.

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VT Industries Architectural Wood Doors -Durability

When you source a high-impact resistance door from VT, you can be confident it’s built to the highest of standards. Palladium Doors are constructed to withstand the most demanding environments including; healthcare, educational, hospitality, and other high-traffic facilities while maintaining an attractive decor. Available in more styles and finishes so you can find the perfect match for your facility. More durable. More Beautiful. There’s more to a VT door.

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New Downlight Collection Provides Tailored Solution

The all-new LED downlight collection from Williams provides a tailored solution for sleek and modern architectural lighting. With 2, 4, 6 and 8-inch apertures available in round, square, fixed, adjustable and shallow plenum styles, the downlights help create ambiance in every environment. Featuring a variety of trims and beam angles, each LED downlight guarantees flawless illumination. The innovative TrimLock reflection retention system ensures the trim remains flush with ceiling plane. Engineered with demanding environments in mind, Williams downlights are IP65 rated, CCEA Chicago Plenum approved and Energy Star certified, with industry-leading efficacies as high as 120 lumens/watts.

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