Throughout history, bricks have been a building block for architecture. Yet, among all the different kind of bricks, glazed ones stand out. You may have admired the stunning façade of a building, wondering what kind of brick was used. Chances are, it was glazed brick.
Glazed bricks are coated with a layer of glass-like material, which is fused onto the surface of the bricks in a furnace at a high temperature. The glaze mixture is either sprayed or brushed on the bricks before they are placed into a kiln. Once heated, the glaze transforms into a hard and shiny surface, permanently bonding with the brick. Glazing can be applied to different colours and types of bricks, including clay, shale, and concrete.
Glazed bricks are available in a variety of shades and colours such as red, green, blue, yellow, brown, and black, making them ideal for architectural design and decoration. But the benefits of glazed bricks go beyond just aesthetics. They are non-absorbent, fireproof, and have excellent insulation properties. This makes them ideal for exterior walls, cladding, and even interior walls exposed to moisture like bathrooms and kitchens.
The history of glazed bricks can be traced back to the ancient Mesopotamia where glazed terracotta tiles were used to decorate temples. The practice of glazing bricks continued throughout history, with beautiful examples of glazed tiles and bricks in historical sites around the world. One of the best examples of glazed brickwork is the Ishtar Gate in Babylon. Built in the 6th century BC, the gate’s facade was decorated with glazed bricks depicting mythical creatures such as dragons, bulls, and lions.
In modern times, glazed bricks continue to be used in architecture and construction. Glazed masonry can add uniqueness and creativity to buildings, providing a splash of colour and character. The durability of glazed bricks is also advantageous, making them ideal for cities with extreme weather conditions.
Glazed bricks are also being used in contemporary art. British artist Rachel Whiteread created a translucent wall sculpture named “Untitled Room 101”, which is composed of individual glazed bricks placed together in a grid-like pattern. The artwork was displayed at the Tate Modern Museum in London and showcased how glazed bricks can be used creatively to bring out contemporary architects.
In addition to being used for decoration and art, glazed bricks have also been used in industry buildings such as power plants and factories. These buildings require durability and fire-resistant materials, making glazed bricks a perfect choice for them.
In contrast to other types of bricks, glazed bricks require minimal maintenance. They do not fade over time and the glaze provides a protective layer against water, so cleaning glazed bricks is a simple process. It is essential not to use harsh chemicals when cleaning, as they could damage the glaze and expose the brick to moisture.
Glazed bricks have a rich history and are still used today in modern architecture and art. Their versatility makes them ideal for both interior and exterior use, and their durability makes them perfect for buildings exposed to harsh conditions. Whether you are constructing your dream home, designing commercial or industrial premises or creating an artwork, glazed bricks are worth considering.