Friday, 13 May 2011

The Bricks of Bloomsbury

Not just mere bricks and mortar...

I noticed a building with a particularly striking array of bricks this afternoon whilst on my lunch-break. I'm studying part-time at the Architectural Association on Bedford Square, so am surrounded by streets of Georgian terraces every Friday when I go in for class. Although uniform in some respects, the more you look at them, the more you realise there are so many subtle differences to the buildings of Bloomsbury.

One of those differences is the materials of the facades. Obviously, some terraces are stuccoed, some are brick, and there are masonry buildings as well, when you get away from the terraces.

But how can you say just "brick" when you get such a variety of colours - within one building, on neighbouring buildings, on later additions and alterations, and in the details around windows and doors.

So I decided to take some photos and make this subject into a post. I thought to myself, "I can maybe get three or four shots, that will be enough to illustrate my point". But once I started, I couldn't stop! I kept seeing so many different colours and arrangements. It was intoxicating and addictive...



  1. Bricks! Wonderful patterns, colours, textures! Organic! Betjeman suggested that Victorian architect, William Butterfield said to himself "Now, since I cannot cut decorations in brick like I could have done in stone, I shall make my decorations with coloured bricks, increasing the elaboration of my colour scheme the higher I get up my building." He then observed "That is the origin of the polychromatic brick Victorian style to which so many people object."

  2. Oh, that's wonderful! Thanks for sharing that! (But why people object, I've no idea - although, I guess that would have been in the 1960s. Need say no more!)