Dramatic black façade with custom glazed bricks

An architect’s new house in East London features an innovative reflective brick façade created with help from European Building Materials in a unique combination of black glazed, mirror clad and engineering bricks. Not only did EBM help in the selection and supply of black engineering bricks, it evolved a new custom glazed feature brick specially for the project.

The 22m2 family home was designed by, and for, architect Oliver Lazarus, a Director of Urban Mesh Design. The house sits in a row of contemporary buildings on a tight former brownfield site at 25 Coate Street in Hackney. The street has a number of black buildings and individually designed terrace houses, while the hallmark of a nearby house is a black shimmer panel. The architect was keen to draw on all these aspects in creating a house that blends beautifully with the streetscape.

‘Being our own project, it gave us a fantastic opportunity to do something a little bit different,’ says Oliver Lazarus. EBM found a high quality, matt black engineering brick from German brickmaker Röben and also one that was perforated, which could be split to create a mirror-clad brick. The façade was modelled using laser-cut card, layering up elements which could be repeated in the actual brickwork.

The architect was also looking for a feature brick to complement the engineering bricks. EBM came up with an experimental black glazed brick called ‘Black Volcano,’ with a pearlescent quality similar to the mirror-clad bricks. The outcome is a building with a certain translucence that reflects the changing daylight and gives something back to the street.

‘We’ve worked with EBM on a number of buildings and they’re always keen to get involved early in the process,’ says Oliver Lazarus. ‘Not only were they able to show us what was available in the brick market, on this occasion they evolved a whole new brick product. When we tried Black Volcano on site, it was irresistible!’

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