Experimental Facade Techniques – Ceramics

In this project, new geometrical forms of bricks were designed. There are two main categories of brickwork. Namely, the brickwork that just functions as a (protective layer of) cladding and the brickwork that is used as a part of the loadbearing structure.

In the last decades there is a trend that facades have less visible details. In monolithic façades there are few options to change the appearance of the façade. If a layer of 2 cm plaster is applied on top, the fine details disappear. Due to the large surfaces facades exceed the human proportions. To fulfil the demand of bricks needed the production process is rationalized and does not allow for customized solutions.

In this project we asked our group of students to design additional bricks that will function in combination with structural insulating brickwork. The brick has to fit in the assembly system and the brick should have a geometry that can be extruded. Next to the form there are challenges. The load bearing brickwork is a monolithic system that combines the loadbearing and insulating functions. When new bricks are combined with the standardized ones, thermal bridges can emerge. Therefore this aspect is not the focus of this assignment and should also not limit the design process, but has to be kept in mind.

At the end of the design process, the best bricks were extruded by use of a small extruder. Since the bricks are relatively large they will be extruded at a smaller scale. Therefore a small die is produced for each geometry. After extruding the bricks they were dried and fired. Bricklaying is the last step to finalize the mockup. Corner solution were also designed and may be 3D printed to fit within the mock-up.

The photos represent the works of the students which I was lucky enough to supervise in the wintersemester of 2017/2018 together with my colleague Dennis de Witte at the Technische Universität Darmstadt.

Students: Mehtep Afsin, Matthias Gilles, Lukas Hils, Yury Klevakin, Maximilian Meyerer, Kevin Henkel, Pia Adamus, Alica Reus, Kai Haufe.

  • Project Experimental Facade Techniques - Ceramics
  • Location Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • Course Experimental Facade Techniques
  • Date February 2018