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Atherton Gardens' contemporary facade turns heads

Atherton Gardens with Midnight Blue brick tile and Black glazed tiles

Robertson Facade Systems was proud to be involved in Atherton Gardens, a public housing development in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Designed by McCabe Architects and Bird de la Coeur Architects, Robertson Facade Systems supplied the brick gasket forminer in which the thin brick facing tiles were set to create the decorative brick facade.

This project was tested by the CSIRO to determine the durability of the thin bricks once set in concrete. The findings indicated that the strength of the thin brick set in concrete was more than double the required minimum standard.

Atherton Gardens, night view, brick inlay facade
Image: John Gollings

The brick tiles used to create the brick facade came from Robertsons Building Products, featuring charcoal, terracotta and speckled blonde in US utility size. The dramatic impact of this facade was achieved using a basket weave pattern created by the architects.

The whole purpose of this development was to provide a low-cost public housing solution. So the challenge for the architects was to create an apartment block that took into account the needs of tenants, along with other social, economic and political requirements. Not to mention tight budgets, timeframes and a limited site footprint for construction.

The result accommodated all requirements and is testament to the fact that by using brick facing tiles set in precast concrete, you can achieve an outstanding outcome with creative design and the intelligent use of materials.

Atherton Gardens, basket weave brick tile facade
Image: John Gollings

To find out more, and see the amazing result, read the July/August 2013 issue of Architecture Australia, p46-53.

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