Image: Courtyard House Photography Tom Gildon & David Butler

Ibstock, the UK’s largest brickmaker, has further cemented its position as the industry-leader by winning three awards at the 40th annual Brick Developers Association’s (BDA) Awards, which celebrate excellence in design and construction using brick.

This latest success takes Ibstock’s total award wins since 2005 to 77 – more than any other brickmaker. The stunning builds feature bricks from Ibstock’s wide-ranging portfolio of colours, textures, sizes and finishes to achieve a huge variety of aesthetic effects.

Projects using Ibstock bricks picked up the top accolade in three categories, including: Best Individual Housing Development, from Dallas Pierce Quintero for Courtyard House, which showcased a creative application of Staffordshire Blue Umbra Sawtooth and Standard; and Best Large House Builder for Linden Homes by Stride Treglown, which used Audley Red Mixture and Commercial Red to achieve a striking impact.

The distinctive arched pavilion of the Brentwood School Learning Resource Centre in Essex, designed by Cottrell & Vermeulen, won Best Education Building, using brick façades to harmonise with existing buildings using the distinctive Heritage Red Blend.

In addition, Ibstock-Kevington products were also used in Newport Street Gallery, which picked up the Supreme Award. The innovative project used precast lintels and beams, together with CNC cut brickwork, all of which were manufactured by Ibstock-Kevington.

Andrew Halstead-Smith, group marketing manager at Ibstock, commented: “As brick continues to retain its position as the number one construction material of choice, what we are seeing is more innovative and creative applications of brick, which really showcase its tremendous design capabilities.

“Architects, specifiers and contractors are pushing the boundaries when it comes to application to create breath taking designs, which these award-winning projects really demonstrate. We congratulate all those involved.

“The calibre of builds shortlisted at this year’s awards was incredibly high; so to have three projects where Ibstock bricks were used receiving awards, in addition to playing a part in the Supreme Award winning entry, really is testament to the versatility of Ibstock’s wide-range of options.”

A further project which also used Ibstock bricks received the judges’ commendation in the category of Best Education Building, for Merchant Taylors’ School Design Centre designed by Architecture PLB.

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The winners of FAÇADES2015 the second competition of the Society of Façade Engineering, have been announced with the quality of entries overall as well as the winners said by the judges to have ‘significantly advanced the discipline of façades engineering and design.’

With the Awards presented during the recent ‘Glass Supper’, the prestigious International gathering of façades-focused architects and engineers, RIBA President Jane Duncan, presented prizes for three categories. Winner of the Façade of the Year 2015-New Build category was Flynn Group for the Ryerson Student Learning Centre in Toronto; Façade of the Year 2015–Refurbishment was awarded to Arup Façade Engineering for the Guys Hospital Tower; and Outstanding Façade Innovation 2015 was awarded jointly to Arup and Bellapart for the Bombay Sapphire Distillery.

Announcing the winners, Chris Macey FSFE, Chairman of Wintech Group and Chairman of the Judges, commented: “Based upon the simple premise of the competition ‘to recognise excellence in façade design and engineering as a specialist discipline’ then this year the competition has at least fulfilled those objectives with exciting entries from around the world being received. The judges believe that the winners have significantly raised the bar in terms of imagination, execution and vision with some exciting projects that are World Class by any standards.”

Commenting on each of the projects Macey added:

Ryerson Student Learning Centre in Toronto – the overall winner: The Ryerson Centre employed a number of unique and new technologies in the completion of a complex geometry building envelope and its application to complex structures. Essentially, laser scans of the structure were taken and these were combined with a BIM model that finally allowed the automation of all of the other design information needed for manufacture. The photographs of the building envelope are a clear demonstration of how technology in the future might simplify the whole delivery process of major buildings eradicating the risk of out of tolerance structure. The other overriding benefit is that the normal consideration of building tolerances in the design of building envelopes can now change, whereby the façade design can be adjusted automatically to accommodate as built structure just a few days before the components are required on site. The Ryerson Centre is a true example of a building completed using entirely new technologies.

Guys Hospital Tower: The original hospital tower building has been transformed from a derided, tired old building into an architectural triumph on the City of London skyline. Not only has a vast improvement been made to the building’s architecture and the environment of its occupants, but also the work was completed whilst the hospital was completed operational. The building uses a number of cladding techniques but all of these were constrained to some extent by the need to maintain certain aspects of the original façade design whilst accommodating inherent inefficiencies of these forms of construction. The project was widely regarded by the judges as being a superb example of what can be achieved with existing buildings. This is exemplary of a world class refurbishment project.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery: This project was put forward by two separate competition entries. As the judges were unable to differentiate between the two a joint award was made. The project is a unique example of how engineering ingenuity when combined with excellence in manufacture and delivery can be combined to create something that is totally unique. It is also testimony to the determination of the construction team and the client’s dedication in delivering a spectacular architectural masterpiece. Hopefully the distillery building will become a point of reference demonstrating what is achievable with the right team and modern technologies for future buildings.

Summarising the importance of the competition Chris Macey said: “With the façade being one of the most expensive parts of a building construction and the primary environmental modifier it is only right that the scientific and engineering expertise needed to deliver this fundamentally important element of the construction of modern buildings is properly appreciated.

“The SFE competition provides the only real opportunity for those behind great examples of façades excellence to gain proper recognition by their peers and in the wider architectural community.”

For the headline sponsors of the competition Reynaers Aluminium, the company’s managing director Martine Reynaers commented: “I have been very impressed to see that these awards have generated such diverse entries relating to projects all around the world. The standard of the winning entries has been exceptional, showcasing some architecturally very exciting projects. I am delighted that Reynaers has been involved as main sponsor.”

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