One of the defining and functional architectural features for both commercial premises and private housing from the 1950s and 60s, is the Breeze Block. It is making a comeback and once again it is beautifying interior design and architecture with its masonry charm.
The Popularity of Breeze Blocks.
This signature building material was primarily used for permeable walls and fences to allow the sun to filter through while providing shade, ventilation and privacy from the harsh elements. Their popularity was due to the low-cost material used and the readily available production industries. Combined with the features of functionality, durability, variety of designs and versatility, Breeze Blocks became an ideal post war inexpensive building trademark.
Why Breeze Blocks?
The Breeze Block was originally an icon synonymous with hot climates, for example it was very popular in places like North Queensland and Palm Springs, California. During the 1970s this functional building material started to lose its attractiveness. Breeze Blocks became overused and dated. However, like all good elements of design, style and fashion, what goes around comes around and, once again, we are experiencing the renaissance of the Breeze Block. In contemporary architecture it is used as a minimalist building material celebrating form and function.
Ornament and Geometric Patterns.
We believe the ornamental and geometric patterns are beautiful. They are perfectly organised structures of shape and form, romantically translating light and shadow into a hypnotic rhythm. Furthermore, the repetition of patterns used in Breeze Blocks is an excellent way to unify different parts as a whole, such as the transition from indoors to outdoors.
The Breeze Block For Interiors.
Our designers are not alone thinking that Breeze Blocks are not only for exterior architecture. The rustic, natural, modern and raw design aesthetic enables interior designers to create exciting spaces for cafes, restaurants, retail stores and even office fit-outs.
An example is this restaurant in Barcelona, Spain where the designer mixed patterns, material and colours of Breeze Blocks to take customers on a journey through the restaurant. The miss-matched look seems to work with minimal effort, paying respect to the architecture and design of the local area.
The versatile building material also allows for peace and tranquillity. This Buddhist temple in Cambodia “considers the relationship between religion and architecture as a whole”. The consideration and intersection of religious symbolism and local traditions blend together.
Although some designers may judge that the Breeze Block is a design trend best left in the 1960s, we believe they are certainly worthy of revival and a trend to reconsider. We think Breeze Blocks are to be regarded for the appropriateness of the situation and the relationship within the context of the building as a whole. They are geometric patterns that act as an ornament while functioning perfectly and offering a sustainable option in contemporary architecture.
- Palm Springs, California. Source: Al Troub
- Inverdon House. Bowen, Queensland
- Disfrutar Restaurant in Barcelona, Spain by El EquipoCreativo
- Khmeresque, University of the Nations in Battambang, Cambodia by Archium + Kim in-cheurl
- B-B-House by Studio MK27. Yellowtrace
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