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Small apartment building puts a playful spin on brick

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The humble material adds texture and privacy

Man standing on terrace of brick clad building. Arq Luis Abba

There’s no single ideal way to deploy brick—seriously, just look at the glorious variety—but this small apartment building in Mendoza, Argentina, makes the case for a light and layered approach to masonry.

For a four-unit building in an industrial part of the city, Primer Piso Arquitectos put the “common brick” to good use, supplemented by a classic material palette of concrete, wood, granite, and stone tiles.

Brick exterior with porthole windows. Arq Luis Abba

The exterior is built from layers of brick highlighting contrasting shapes and textures. At the entrance, a curved wall provides the boundaries of an inner courtyard and another brick wall houses a lush vertical garden.

Meanwhile, lattice brick screens filter in patterned light and help create some privacy between the units. Porthole windows and walls of glass add to the variation in lighting and views. Inside, each apartment contains a bedroom, bathroom, and open living and dining area with a kitchen outfitted in wood.

Woman sitting in interior courtyard with brick wall and screen. Arq Luis Abba
Woman standing at kitchen counter with wooden cabinets. Arq Luis Abba
Terrace with wood plank floors and brick wall. Arq Luis Abba