Positioned in a sensitive area surrounding Trafalgar Square, Hobhouse Court has a distinctly contemporary façade which needed brickwork to reflect the richness, grain and materiality of the surrounding vernacular.
The concept by Arquitectonica was developed by Brisac Gonzales to create a unique façade for this landmark scheme which required premium bricks and a factory with a speciality for producing handmade bricks in bespoke blends, with matching specials shapes, made by expert craftsman.
The end design was an enormous undertaking and to ensure the design was realised to its full potential EH Smith recommended Michelmersh’s Charnwood brand as the only manufacturer capable of achieving excellent results due to their production team’s knowledge, understanding, experience, dedication and flexibility.
As the project developed and evolved in design it concluded with 20 bays displaying over 33,500 special shaped bricks, all with varying angles on plain and face folds requiring approximately 1400 different mould types to form the vast array of bespoke specials, all of which were to be intricately made from plan. Approximately 120,000 standard stretchers and half bats complimented the remainder of the renovation scheme, which will be integrated into the dense urban fabric of London. Respecting the historic character dominant in the area, the project has its own avant-garde identity which hopes to bring a dynamic energy to the street.
Each special brick was stamped with its own code to identify its location then packed in reverse for the relevant bay to make handling on site as easy as possible to eliminate errors. Communication with all parties from the designers to the factory through to the supplier and specialist brickwork contractor Swift played a critical part.
We believe the expertise and attention to detail displayed in the design, construction and materials of Hobhouse Court will represent an iconic building that will enhance our built environment for generations to come.
Architect: Brisac Gonzalez / Arquitectonica
Contractors: Swift Brickwork Contractors Ltd