We walk past them daily, but we rarely stop to think about them. Time for the Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort to devote an exhibition to bricks: ‘BAKSTEEN | BRICK’. With contributions from more than fifty international artists, architects and designers, it is an ode to the beauty and eloquence of this extraordinary material. The exhibition continues in the catalogue of the same name, which includes a work by architectural studio ZJA.
Brick is an apparently simple and modest material, but at the same time it is multifaceted and expressive. Allowing for every possible variation in shape, size, colour, texture and bond, its expressive possibilities are endless, and any brick wall can be given a look that is entirely its own. As demonstrated by the ZJA project ‘Sporthal Wethouder Verheij’ on the site of the former Oostergasfabriek in Amsterdam, which with its unusual redbrick walls in a variety of mortar patterns refers to buildings of the past.
Parametric design in brick
In preparation for the sports hall project, ZJA carried out extensive research into how parametric design could contribute to the design of patterns or structures in brickwork. It wrote specific software for the purpose, which interprets a grayscale image as an elevation map that it can then translate into a brick bond. The laser cutter cut a number of patterns out of MDF, as a test. One of the results is included in the ‘BAKSTEEN | BRICK’ catalogue.
The BAKSTEEN | BRICK exhibition can be viewed until 8 January in Kunsthal KAdE, the Elleboogkerk, or on a tour through Amersfoort that takes you to new follies and existing buildings.