Face bricks used for architectural differentiation

by Tania Wannenburg
Face bricks used for architectural differentiation COROBRIK

Corobrik’s face brick gives Century City Square a modern, natural look.

The different buildings of the vibrant Century City Square, a R1 billion mixed-use development project that forms the heart of the Bridgeway Precinct in Cape Town, are all identifiable by their different colours of brick.

To achieve this architectural intent, a mixture of Corobrik’s face brick and paver ranges has been selected. Some 148 000 Cape Stormberg Travertine, 223 500 De Hoop Red Smooth and 296 500 Natural Earth Travertine face bricks were used in construction throughout the urban square.

“All the face bricks chosen were local, Western Cape bricks, which suited the look and feel we wanted to achieve while being an economically viable option,” says Paolo Viotti, director of VIVID Architects.

Natural Earth Travertine face bricks make up both the conference centre and hotel to tie them together as one facade on the square, while De Hoop Red Smooth face bricks were used to give the Matrix mixed-use building a contemporary, industrial, warehouse building feel.

The Cape Stormberg Travertine face brick was applied as an accent face brick which reveals and recesses panels, to highlight the floating, lighter brick facades. For the Apex office tower, which was envisioned as a slick, sheer glass facade, Viotti and his team wanted to offset the surrounding buildings in terms of architectural design, so face brick was selected to achieve this contemporary contrast.

“The architectural facade treatment and design is one of floating planes of face brick that are supported off concealed steel angle supports, allowing for the contemporary nature of the design of all the buildings,” he explains.

To tie into the facade design, 19 500 Natural Earth 65mm pavers were chosen, while 73mm De Hoop pavers were used to connect the design with the rest of the Century City sidewalk specifications. A herringbone pattern was used throughout.

Modern, natural material
“Face brick is a maintenance-free facade which reduces costs down the line,” notes Viotti. “It is also a wholly natural material which gives an honest, modern design that provides interest in terms of its texture and modulation.”

He adds that the entire scheme has been conceptualised as an urban anchor, providing modern architecture that prioritises the urban realm of street and square for pedestrians, rather than vehicles. “The face brick really lends itself to that vision, offering a tactile, warm material which provides a modern backdrop to streets and public spaces that people want to inhabit,” Viotti says.

Aiming for a mixed-use green rating
In addition to its modern architecture, the Century City Square scheme is a pilot project for the Green Building Council of South Africa’s new mixed use rating tool.

Corobrik’s Western Cape manager, Christie van Niekerk, highlights the fact that this iconic development is set to anchor the area for years to come, which is why quality materials, that are both pleasing to look at and proven to withstand harsh weather conditions, are essential.

“Corobrik’s face brick range covers these two criteria, while also providing enhanced thermal and sound insulation, and superior fire resistance. In addition, its thermal qualities further negate the need for artificial heating and cooling,” he states.

Tel: 031 560 3111
Website: www.corobrik.com

Caption: The mix of Corobrik’s face bricks used in the construction of Century City Square includes the charcoal Cape Stormberg Travertine, De Hoop Red Smooth and pale Natural Earth Travertine.   
Courtesy of Rabie Property Group

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