In the beginning of the academic year 2017-2018 we were informed that the theme for the semester was the material: ‘brick’. 2 project weeks were organized especially around this theme, this in collaboration with Wienerberger. In the first week we were commissioned to make a wall with bricks by designing a new connection, in collaboration with Stefan De Ruysscher, Stéphanie Dierckx, Tuur Vissers & Tuur Van den Steen.
– First week –
For the design of the pile of bricks, a game between open and closed was sought. In this game of open and closed, different levels were sought between open and closed. An intermediate level was found in the difference between the top and bottom of a brick. These sides have a completely different character and appearance. In addition, these sides are never visible in the facade tectonics.
The game between open and closed is therefore an awareness of the different sides that a brick possesses. You could state that it is a protest against showing the ‘ugly’ side of bricks in facade.
– Second week –
Where in the first week the emphasis was on stacking elements, the focus in the second week was on the element itself, the brick. Together with Stefan De Ruysscher & Jelle Claes we were commissioned to design a brick ourselves. The design for the brick could, with permission from the professors, be made by Wienerberger in the brick factory in Maaseik.
For the design of our brick we started at the smallest particle of clay, the molecule. The shape of this molecule is a hexagon. This was our starting form. By applying different transformations, a form was created that could form an expressive façade. During the design we looked for how an corner can be formed with the stones, how openings for windows can be made, …
After the design, a mold had to be formed, with which the factory could make the bricks. Triplex proved to be an ideal material for this. The stone was designed as a hand-molded stone. This means that clay is thrown into the mold by a person. That is why the mold had to take a special shape, so that the stone can easily slip out of the mold.