Dezeen Magazine

Watch a talk on the role of brick in today's world

Dezeen teamed up with US brick company Glen-Gery to host a talk exploring the place brick has in today's urban landscapes.

Moderated by Dezeen's US editor Ben Dreith, the talk was held in Glen-Gery's Brickworks Design Studio in New York City.

Brickworks Design Studio in Manhattan on 5th Avenue
The Brickworks Design Studio is located on 5th Avenue in Manhattan

Titled 'Brick in Today's Built Environment', the panel featured architects Brittany Macomber from Morris Adjmi Architects, Amanda Morgan from nArchitects and Alyse Talbott from Design Collective.

During the talk, each architect gave a presentation about a recent project that incorporated brick and how the design fits into its contemporary environment.

45 East 7th in the lower east side
45 East 7th is designed by Morris Adjmi Architects

Macomber highlighted 45 East 7th, a 7-story mixed-use building located on the lower east side, which is comprised of a tripartite brick facade that uses a checkerboard pattern informed by historical buildings in the neighbourhood.

"The Lower East Side has so much brick, I think it was undeniably going to be brick," Macomber added.

Equal Rights Heritage Center in Auburn
The Equal Rights Heritage Center is located in Auburn, New York

Morgan spoke about The New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center, which is situated in the historic district of Auburn, New York.

The building incorporates subtle angling on two of the largest brick facades in order to "bring some texture in and play with light and shadow throughout the seasons".

"The use of brick really grounded the building in both the historic and the material context," said Morgan.

Equal Rights Heritage Center facade
The subtle angling the facade was designed to play with light and shadow

Talbott discussed Solaire 8200 Dixon, an apartment complex in Silver Spring, Maryland, with a facade that incorporates 350,000 bricks.

Talbott further explained that brick is one of the most used materials at Design Collective.

"[Brick] is such a timeless material, I think it does have a place in contemporary architecture," said Talbott.

Solaire 8200 Dixon
Solaire 8200 Dixon is designed by Design Collective

When it comes to selecting brick as the material of choice for architects, Morgan said that versatility is a key factor.

"You can get any colour, any finish, you can do a thousand buildings in brick and every one of them will be unique."

Glen-Gery talk in New York City
The talk was moderated by Dezeen's US editor Ben Dreith

Glen-Gery offers over 600 brick products available in different sizes and textures. The company has recently launched the second season of their Design Vault podcast exploring how ideas of the past help "inspire and bring new brick designs to life".

To find out more about Glen-Gery, visit its website.

The talk took place on 28 September 2023 at the Brickworks Design Studio in New York City. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Partnership content

This video was produced by Dezeen as part of a partnership with Glen-Gery. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.