In 1835, when the Pemaquid Point lighthouse was built in Bristol, Maine, the American paint industry did not yet exist. Portland cement technology was still more than three decades away from reaching the United States, and prepackaged paint production would start even later. Yet the stone lighthouse, built utilizing the best technology of its time, endured severe coastal exposures for 172 years with only minimal maintenance.
Although it may have taken three decades to complete – courtesy of construction delays and political wrangling – the British Library at St. Pancras (BL) is recognized and appreciated now for its sheer size and brick detailing. Built between 1962 and 1997, the BL is the second-largest library in the world – more than 1.2 million square feet of space with more than 25 million books – and one of the largest public buildings in Europe.
Natural stone is a timeless material that has been used for centuries in structures of all types. In one of the fastest growing segments of the masonry products market, adhered stone veneers have become increasingly popular during the past decade in both commercial and residential construction.
In 2003, a team led by King Roselli Architetti (an English/Italian partnership that quickly was establishing a name for itself) embarked on a challenging, three-year project to expand a university library within The Vatican while adhering to considerable site constraints such as a narrow building corridor and an underground vault full of priceless antiques, artifacts and books. The determined team of international professionals didn’t flinch; instead, they used the constricted job site to their advantage, creating a unique, brick-clad building that is modern in design but timeless in its efficacy.
Americans have used clay brick pavers on pedestrian pathways and roadways since early Colonial days, because genuine clay pavers add stature, character and long-term appeal. Can you imagine what Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria, Va., and Boston’s Beacon Hill would look like now, had the sidewalks been paved (or repaved) in a material other than genuine clay pavers?
One look at the MARTa Herford Museum in Herford, Germany and it’s obvious whose hand was holding the pen, drawing the first conceptual designs for this playful structure. Frank Gehry began putting his distinctive touch on the brick and stainless steel structure in 1998.
A wise man once said, “change is good;” an even wiser man added, “… if change is necessary.” Over the last 10 years, the thru-wall flashing industry certainly has seen its attempt at change. Words such as “innovative” and “green” are being used in numerous print ads to attract architects and contractors.