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Brick Awards 2006
Traditional clay brick still plays an important, expressive role in modern architecture, and to highlight a few North American examples of its application, the Brick Industry Association (BIA) announced in July 2006 the results of its annual Brick in Architecture awards.
In the words of BIA president Dick Jennison, "The winning projects demonstrate the versatility and enduring appeal of clay brick in today's construction. Brick is, and always has been, a superior cladding material with unlimited design potential."
One of the seven "best-in-class" award recipients, in the educational category, is the Oak Park Elementary School (2005) in Corpus Christi, Texas, by Richter Architects. The design reflects, in its texture and terra cotta color, the Hispanic origins of its regional culture.
At the school's entry, metaphorical tree trunks bend upward to resemble building blocks and to recall the local masonry tradition. The twisted columns support cast stone arches, abstracted to echo the contemporary vernacular. The opaque street facade protects the classrooms from traffic noise and can withstand hurricane force winds, but the textured brick adds visual interest.