The brickwork division at Sheriff Construction have recently been showing off their creative side at one of our sites in Luton.
Given its prominent position in the Round Green area, many people have seen how our Tavern Court development looks from the outside. Not so many people will have seen how things look inside where, many months ago, we decided that the internal corridors on each of this building’s three floors would greatly benefit from some in-built decorative brickwork.
Always ready for a challenge, our on-site team of bricklayers have not let us down, their creativity resulting in three striking internal wall designs that makes each level of this building feel unique to the residents.
Decorative brickwork dates centuries back to Babylon and can be achieved via various means – using the brick type, shape and colour, joint thickness, bond patterns and mortar colour to create all kinds of designs. Elaborate examples from the past can still be seen around the world. There’s the breath-taking collection of glazed brick reliefs from ancient Babylon found at the Istanbul Archaeology Museums and an outstanding example of glazed brickwork, patterning and ceramics seen in the Tekyeh Moaven al-Molk building in Kermanshah, Iran.
Given the advancements in construction materials and technology, you might think the industry could easily surpass the decorative brickwork of the past, however the modern world has, in many ways, made this type of design harder to achieve.
Barriers include problems around persuading architects to think about brick as more than just a structural component; issues with brick manufacturers reducing/ standardising their ranges which limits supplies of decorative elements (clays, glazes and specially shaped bricks); problems around the way apprentice training has changed over the years which means workers may not have the skills required; and questions over whether the market is willing to pay for the more artistic element and make such projects viable.
Despite these issues, we are seeing a slight resurgence in the art of brick sculpture and other decorative methods in construction which hopefully will mean examples of this skill will continue to be part of our built environment for years to come.
As for our own team’s work – we think these three walls are a testament to their talent, flair for artistic design, and workmanship. Well done to all involved!