Brick has had a great resurgence in recent years. In contrast to the glass and steel of the hi-tech movement, or indeed the cheap aluminium cladding and render seen throughout so many developments throughout the UK in the last 40 years, the humble brick has been undergoing an architectural comeback.

 It has the ability to be dramatic (as in the monolithic lines of the Tate Switchouse or the LSE Student centre), or sculptural (as in DSDHA's Cornerhouse in London). It has an elegance and a huge versatility, and carries with it a warmth and the ability to work at every different scale.

At urbanmesh, brick has always been one of our preferred materials. This has culminated this year in working with an innovative brick factory near London to see what can be achieved with bespoke bricks. This factory is fascinating in that it works not only with traditional methods, but also in developing new glazes, finishes and moulds to allow an enormous versatility in design. Really interesting effects are being achieved both by experimenting new materials for glazes and by investigating old and sometimes long-forgotten techniques.

This suits our approach perfectly. The different effects that can be achieved using elongated bricks, extruded/recessed headers and patterned bricks are almost endless. Combining glazed and non-glazed bricks allows for an aesthetic that is dramatic but accessible.

We have been looking at adding bespoke templates to brick moulds to achieve different patterns  and textures on the faces. It is possible to add text, to achieve repeating patterns, to combine different glazes and mirrored finishes to produce completely unique treatments that suit each particular building.

The design opportunities are hugely exciting.

Glazed brick results 300px