Bricks of light
for exposed walls

Published on Nov 22, 2018

The origin of the brick: five thousand years of history

 

For more than 5000 years the full clay brick is a component that walks with humanity along its constructive journey. As a matter of fact around 3500 years AD, the raw brick, already used since the beginning, was made by mold and cooked ; this gave the brick  such a hardness and a durability that the construction of the first great monuments of humanity could be built, the ziggurats.

Ziggurat of Ur, ancient Mesopotamia, III millennium BC
Ziggurat of Ur, ancient Mesopotamia, III millennium BC

The various qualities of the brick such as the static, the durability, the shape, the texture and its chromatic wealth, have been handed down till our days. Even today its capability of dialogue with more modern materials such as steel and glass enables the contemporary architecture to appreciate the design dynamism by continuing the use of this precious witness of history.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe_Lange & Esters Haus
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe_Lange & Esters Haus

“...architecture starts at the very moment when two bricks are carefully put one upon the other...”  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The exposed brick

The exposed bricks are the “ennobling” part of the common masonry works for they are not designed to be covered with plaster, but to become decorative elements, as well as being structural to the architecture itself. Their manufacture requires selected clay, selected in such a way that the final product will offer adequate aesthetical characteristics, a maximum of strength to weathering and the performances of a product destined to be left exposed. Each piece is unique: during the manufacture of the brick, each single piece is different from the other for each hand, each mold, each cooking process will give a unique and unrepeatable imprint.

This clay parallelepiped, in its Italian standard 5,5 x 12 x 25 cm size, provides all sides with a 1:2:4 ratio , i.e. Each side measures the double of the other: its three-dimensional modularity enables the production of a vast range of regular assemblages and the construction of walls bearing the partitions, from arches to domes.

4-1

Brick of light: the evolution of the brick

The base of inspiration for the Brick Light. Project has been the modularity, the resistance and the uniqueness of the brick.

Brick light is a luminous brick in full glass thought and conceived as a real construction brick. It the same dimensions of a clay brick, it can freely be inserted in the construction phase. Thanks to its modularity it becomes an object combinabile and perfectly integrated in the architecture.

brick light_application_01

Each piece is unique and presents aesthetical features that make it deliberately appearing “imperfect “as the result of a crafted process should be. Brick of Light is a luminous brick with 5 exposed sides. This enables to use it also in angular provisions or to install it in protrusion with respect to other bricks. The ice etched finish of the glass allows a uniformity of light on the 5 fronts.

brick_02ok

The founding idea of the design conceived by Paolo Rizzatto, the renowned architect with whom Simes has cooperated to develop the Brick of Light project is summarized as follows:

“...For the Brick Light project the geometric form stems from the elementary and abstract brick, and from the massive glass the transparent, reflecting and diffusing substance; they are composed with new opportunities offered by  electronics and  LED technology. “ Arch. Paolo Rizzatto

 

Rizzatto’s professional training and practice as an architect were the base for the concept of “composing” and the starting block to design Brick Light. Paolo Rizzatto took these assumptions to develop the brick full of light via a personal interpretation of the dialogue between the glass that is increasingly a leading actor in modern architecture and the clay brick that represents in a certain way the origin of same. The Brick Light project makes light become a structural element through the shape of the brick; its materiality shapes and enhances the volumes of architecture.

brick light_application_02