Bird Nesting Bricks by
Aaron Dunkerton


Kingston University graduate Aaron Dunkerton has designed an enclosed cavity brick fitting that allows endangered birds to nest in new buildings and garden walls.

Bird Brick by Aaron Dunkerton

Aaron Dunkerton's Bird Nesting Bricks create a cavity out of five handmade, clamp-fired bricks which can be built into new buildings or garden walls to encourage birds to nest in urban areas. Birds can access the sealed cavity through a small clay entrance hole.

"Over the last 50 years the UK has lost over 44 million birds," Dunkerton told Dezeen. "The house sparrow population has decreased by almost 70% and I decided to do something to help with their conservation."

Bird Brick by Aaron Dunkerton

"House sparrows are sociable birds. They like to nest in small colonies of three to four breeding pairs in and around homes. However, as these holes and gaps are being filled up for better insulation, these birds are running out of places to nest," said Dunkerton.

Bird Brick by Aaron Dunkerton

Each cavity must be cleared out once every 2-5 years, between September and November. The circular brick stopper twists out to allow the enclosed cavity to be cleaned out and must then be re-pointed in place.

The bricks were cast with the help of UK-based brick company, MBH Freshfield Lane in West Sussex.

Bird Brick by Aaron Dunkerton

Bird Nesting Bricks was one of 20 projects shortlisted for the Design Council's 2013 Future Pioneer Award, and was exhibited at New Designers 2013 in London last month, alongside New Designer of the Year Henry Franks.

Dunkerton will also exhibit work at London Design Festival 2013, with graduate design collective NOUS, which also includes Alice Kim's maternity vest for plants.

See more stories about bird boxes »
See more stories about bricks »
See our coverage of graduate shows 2013 »

  • Nick

    Am I missing something here? Re-pointed every 2-5 years? How is that innovative?

    Surely making it so simple to maintain that every home could have one is innovative.

    Why not just use some kind of re-sealable connection? It is not as if the new mortar is going to match the mortar that is 10 years old anyway.

  • A simple gasket would make this work perfectly. Why not just be honest about it and make a + shaped box, and not try and mask it like its separate bricks? The terracotta and opening are lovely enough.

    • George

      I don’t think it would have been possible to make this a single brick because of the way the bricks are made. I assume they are thrown into moulds, so I don’t see how it could have been done from less bricks?

  • beatrice

    Nice idea but I think it could have been a bit more simple. The repointing thing? Also could it not just have worked as a single brick? It seems like it’s kind of shoe horned in there.

    But, yes, nice idea.

  • larry

    This “designer” has never had to deal with birds making a foul mess of one’s home and having to clean up after them.

  • cesar

    Rat brick!

  • Laki

    Nice idea.

  • Nice idea, but better to have a simple removable gasket rather than reprinting.

  • James

    Great idea! The design as it is now would work perfectly in a conservation area.

    But a resealable hole would be more practical. I suppose it wouldn’t be too hard to have a cap over the resealable plug that looks like it is made of brick?

    I assumed that the birds would clear out their own nests, but I guess this guy has done his research. Just make sure the hole is the right size!

  • James Heaford

    I like it and I think it’s a great idea to keep craftsmanship with brick work, adding a design element to brick course work and adding a new element to the notion of “home”.

    My house is your house, little sparrow. I also don’t think you would have to disturb the mortar to clean the nest – just working on the prototype now! :)

    I like your design ideas Aaron.