A mixture of reused bricks alongside Corobrik’s range of terracotta satin-face bricks and burgundy pavers was used in the refurbishment of the Lion Match Factory.

Listed as an Amafa heritage site, Durban’s Lion Match Factory was rejuvenated under the guidance of Dean Jay Architects, who carefully monitored the refurbishment to blend the old and new buildings seamlessly yet with pertinent distinguishing features.

Sarah Fourie of Dean Jay Architects points out that the bricks used were a mixture of reused old bricks from one of the demolished warehouses, alongside Corobrik’s range of terracotta satin-face bricks and burgundy pavers.

“We wanted to match the newer bricks with the older ones, while playing with different brickwork styles throughout,” she explains.
 
Corobrik’s director of coastal sales, Allin Dangers, says it was rewarding to have Corobrik products involved in redefining the spaces of this beautiful architectural landmark. “Brick is deep in the fabric of this building and to see it being re-expressed and incorporated in different ways to enhance context and the buildings aesthetic is a real pleasure.”
 
Original look preserved
The interiors of the existing buildings have retained the industrial, factory design with exposed trusses and clerestory lighting. The internal face brick has been painted in shades of white and grey, which introduces different textures while keeping with the industrial feel.
 
The older buildings have also retained the original English bond brickwork pattern on the plinth, which correlates with a number of the signature building aspects such as the signage walls, which have been constructed using reused old bricks.
 
“We wanted to sustain what we could from the old structures, but have made the style quite obvious in the newer structures,” explains Fourie.
 
This is evident when walking towards the trendy Boiler Room Café, housed in the original factory boiler room, which has a much more modern feel. This sits alongside the eye-catching chimney stack, which has retained its original brickwork yet blends in with the newer structures.
 
English bond brickwork wall
One of the newer buildings is the impressive six-storey building on the eastern side of the property, which comprises a parkade and office block. The southern side of this has an immense 18m high face brick wall, which proved to be a significant design challenge for the architects.
 
“The original idea was to reuse the old bricks from the demolished warehouse for the wall but, because it is such a vast expanse of wall, there just wasn’t enough,” says Fourie. “We looked into the Corobrik supply and tried different patterns. Corobrik was fantastic, supplying us with a number of samples.”
 
The design selected for the wall was English bond brickwork with a relief pattern whereby every second half-brick protrudes from the wall by 15mm.
 
“The projecting bricks create different shadows throughout the day, so the look of the wall is forever changing. It never looks the same as the day progresses,” says Fourie.
 
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