[Image above] Credit: The Brick Industry Association

The clay brick has certainly elevated itself in the construction industry.

Although clay brick has been used since the medieval period, it became an increasingly popular building material during the Industrial Revolution. By 1952, advancements in automation enabled manufacturers to produce 12,000 bricks per day—more than the 36,000 bricks per week that previously were made by hand. Today, manufacturing over 200,000 bricks per day is not uncommon in the industry.

And each year the Brick Industry Association (BIA) gives recognition to those who have brilliantly incorporated the esteemed brick into their building and paving designs.

The BIA recently announced the winners of its 2018 Brick in Architecture Awards. Now in its 30th year, the Brick in Architecture Awards competition honors U.S. architectural and design firms that “demonstrate outstanding design with clay brick,” according to the association’s press release.

“Brick has proven its effectiveness as a cladding for thousands of years,” BIA COO Stephen T. Sears writes in an email. “And it’s refreshing to see so many architects and designers using brick in a range of color palettes and architectural styles. Brick truly stands up to the latest trends—from historic landmarks in classic red to cutting-edge innovations in vibrant color schemes.”

The contest rules on the BIA’s website state that entrants can submit architectural work completed after January 1, 2013, in which new clay bricks comprise more than half of the exterior building or paving material.

A team of independent design professionals judged entries in six categories:

  • Commercial
  • Education, K–12
  • Higher education (colleges, universities)
  • Residential, single family
  • Residential, multi-family
  • Paving & landscape projects

Here are this year’s Best in Class winners:

Fort Mill Welcome Center, Fort Mill, S.C. Credit: The Brick Industry Association

Dr. Nettie Stevens Science Center, Westfield State University, Westfield, Mass. Credit: The Brick Industry Association

Robert J. Richardson Middle School, Chicago, Ill. Credit The Brick Industry Association

University of the District of Columbia Student Center, Washington, D.C. Credit: The Brick Industry Association

The Hine Project, Washington D.C. Credit: The Brick Industry Association

Check out the complete list of winners here. View a photo gallery of the winning projects at this link.

And treat your eyes to the beautiful brick projects in the video below. Congratulations to all of the 2018 winners. Well done!


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