Located in Kohimarama, Auckland, Red House has been designed with a meticulous eye for texture and detail by architects and owners Lindy and Malcolm Ewart of Ministry of Architecture + Interiors. Eco-friendly, low maintenance and long-lasting materials were favoured for the home, with Austral Bricks’ Chiffon and Silver Bricks specified to provide added detail and visual interest to the front façade.
“With all our projects we try to specify materials with minimised maintenance in mind,” says Malcolm Ewart, Principal, Ministry of Architecture + Interiors. “Brick is great as there’s no need for paint — that’s one of the main reasons we used it on our house. None of the exterior needs painting. And brick is tried and tested and solid, it’s just a great material.”
Brick was specified to provide an eye-catching counterpoint to the red vertical aluminium cladding used on the majority of the exterior, with the design team taking time to find just the right bricks for the job. “We went through a process to find bricks that worked with other materials and colours in the house,” says Malcolm. “Finding something with a little bit of sheen and shimmer was important.”
Ultimately they opted for Silver and Chiffon Bricks, two options from the Origin range of clay bricks by Austral Bricks available at The Brickery. In addition to fitting the aesthetic required, the sustainable clay bricks are backed by a 100-year warranty — just the kind of long-lasting, eco-friendly material the Ministry of Architecture + Interiors team likes to work with.
Once the bricks were selected, the design team worked together to design the brick layout. “There’s endless ways to arrange brick when working with different colours, so it was a process of elimination,” says Malcolm. The final design juxtaposes the vertical aluminium cladding with the horizontal running of the brickwork, creating dark and light strata of the Silver and Chiffon bricks on either side of the entrance.
“That façade is the first thing you see, so the brick adds visual interest, tying the house to the site,” says Malcolm. “It gives it a very sculptural feel.” Providing a stunning first impression, this detailed use of brick also gives visitors a hint at the level of detail and texture used throughout the home.
The entrance façade came together beautifully through the work of the Ministry of Architecture + Interiors design team, the builder, the brick layer and The Brickery team. “The brick layer was wonderful,” says Malcolm. “We did a couple of different grout colours, and tricky cuts on corners with 45 degree mitre, and it’s spotless.”
The end result highlights the level of detail and customisation that can be achieved with brick. “It’s brilliant,” says Malcolm. “We couldn’t have hoped for any better.”
Architect: Ministry of Architecture + Interiors
Builder: Grant McIntyre, Design Construction Home Ltd
Photographer: Paul Ellis of Auckland Photography