The beauty of inconsistency

By Claus Christiansen

It takes innovative material to challenge status quo and change the way we arrange our lives, houses and cities. Recent projects suggest, that the future of architecture may be paved by inconsistent beauty.

In your search for innovative materials with inspiring formats with intriguing textures, you might stumble upon our waterstruck linear bricks. They are labelled Ultima – and after a closer look the name is quite self-explanatory.

First of all, Ultima has the length of two regular bricks in DK NF and the height is 38 mm. This offers an elegant, design-led feel that lends its unique character to the building it is part of. Second, the bricks have a special waterstruck aesthetic, that is only possible to achieve with the waterstruck production method.

The versatility of waterstruck bricks

To produce the special waterstruck bricks we use a traditional Scandinavian manufacturing method, that has been refined and perfected for generations. The secret of the method is, that it is loyal to the raw material and allows the clay to present itself in its natural way. During the production, the clay is mixed, processed with water and burnt with special techniques. The result is bricks with a rich and unique texture, that resembles the look of old-fashioned hand-stroked bricks but has the technical advantages of new modern bricks.

The method produces diverse bricks that vary in surface and appearance – not two bricks are alike. This natural inconsistency creates a unique and distinctive expression in the brickwork, and perhaps this is the reason why waterstruck linear bricks increasingly play a role in modern architecture. Another reason might be the many variations of colour and texture, that offer the architect a variety of options to adorn a building a distinct purpose or identity. When individuality is key, waterstruck bricks truly have the power to ensure the uniqueness of a project.

Elegance facilitated by inconsistency

In a residential area in Oslo, Reiulf Ramstad Architects have used the linear Ultima-bricks to create a high-end contemporary architectural gem in symbiosis with nature. Bygdøynesveien is placed in a 16-acre English-style park – surroundings that require a special material. As the walls are staggered to create private outdoor spaces and uninterrupted panoramic views of the old historic park, the brickwork are quite notable. Therefore, the architect’s material of choice was a custom-made full-white Ultima-brick. The result is calm and modern elegance – mainly facilitated by beautiful white-shaded inconsistency.

Modern but respectful masonry

On a historic old boulevard in Copenhagen – one that was inspired by Paris’ Champs Elysee and staggered with prominent mansions – COBE Architects was asked to design a building that harmonises with the neighbourhood, while accommodating an open state-of-the-art subway station. The solution honoured the great expectations of the city and its residents with a courtyard surrounded by five different townhouses – each house with its own bond. Each of the five bonds are made from three different bricks – one of them is the sand-coloured waterstruck Ultima RT 154. The result is diversity in harmony – with respect for historical heritage as well as the contemporary needs of a big city.

Explore Ultima’s possibilities and quote our experts for free samples or brochures here.


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