Words: Carrie Snider
Photos: Brickworks, Sylvain Gaboury_PMC
Known for its iconic-historic buildings, 5th Avenue in New York City was the ideal spot for a new Design Studio of international acclaim. So that’s exactly what Brickworks did. The Brickworks New York Design Studio, the company’s global flagship location, promises to help architects, designers, and homeowners take their projects to the next level. Since opening on March 3rd, the retail store and collaborative space fits right in the fashion-forward vibe of Manhattan with its high-end products and collective experience.
“It’s an honor to bring our expertise to New York City, home to some of the most diverse, lively, and iconic architectural structures in the world and one of the world’s premier design hubs,” said Lindsay Partridge, Managing Director of Brickworks.
The two-story, 16,171 square-foot space, which is located at 445 5th Avenue, accommodates three main components: a sleek showroom with the latest building products available, a space for design collaboration from internal experts and outside industry professionals, and a space for industry events (of up to 500 people).
The architect on the project was DHD Architecture Design, and KMC Partners oversaw construction. The finished product is a modern building with nods to classic construction, helping it fit right in with the other buildings on 5th Avenue.
Inside, the ground floor features a stunning Venetian glass brick staircase in arctic crystal finish, a matching reception desk, a bar for industry events, and an upgraded audio-visual system for presentations, according to KMC Partners. The floors were done in a French pattern Australian limestone, complemented by polished brass details. Click here for a 3D tour of the space.
Brickworks, which is headquartered in Australia, is well known for its variety of residential and commercial building products: clay brick, pavers, masonry, stone, roofing, specialized building systems, precast, and cement products. Opening a space in New York City pays homage to the brick-centric city and the iconic buildings close by.
While the company focuses on developing strong materials that stand the test of time, they also place a lot of importance on style—evident in the new Design Studio’s look and contents. Building a home or other space requires the right materials, but developing a specific design that highlights those materials and a personal style is just as important. They know builders are savvier than ever, and they require high quality and high style.
“We treat bricks as fashion,” explained Mark Ellenor, president of Brickworks North America, at the recent grand opening event. “It makes a statement about who you are and offers a [blend] of function and beauty, art and science; as architects explore texture, light and shadows, lines and curves, and special shapes that make up the spectacular architecture of New York City.” This design, he added, doesn’t stay in New York; in fact, it spreads throughout the world as it inspires people everywhere.
The new Brickworks Design Studio on 5th Avenue showcases hundreds of brick and stone products across 20 different displays, including the brand new 2022 line and international products, such as Kite Breeze, GB Masonry and Urbanstone. An array of Glen-Gery, Lawrenceville, Cushwa, and Sioux City Brick brands are available. The displays at the Design Studio will make it easier for architects, homeowners and commercial building owners to envision an upcoming project as visitors get a chance to touch and feel the product.
A Step Further
Expanding on that idea of collaboration, Brickworks plans to bring industry experts into its space by hosting monthly educational events and a speaker series. To expand reach and accessibility to national and international audiences, the new space also includes a broadcast studio to optimize live streams events and develop relevant content. It truly can become a hub of information and experience under one roof.
Brickworks first entered the U.S. market in 2018 by acquiring Glen-Gery, one of the largest brick manufacturers in the country. Founded in 1890, Glen-Gery operates ten brick manufacturing facilities and one manufactured stone facility. Glen-Gery products are sold nationally through a large distribution footprint in the U.S. and Canada including 27 company-owned Supply Centers.
To expand further, in 2019, Brickworks acquired Sioux City Brick of Iowa, then in 2020, acquired the assets of Maryland-based Redland Brick. In 2021, it purchased several key businesses from Southfield Corporation, and earlier this year, it announced the acquisition of Capital Brick, a leading distributor of architectural masonry products servicing the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. With the combined history, products, and quality of each company now under one roof, so to speak, Brickworks hopes to ensure that brickmakers are at the forefront of the industry as it develops now and in the future.
The New York Design Studio is Brickworks’ third Design Studio in the U.S. and the ninth internationally. In 2020, the company opened its inaugural Brickworks Design Studio in Philadelphia, followed by the launch of its Brickworks Design Studio in Baltimore in 2021. Under construction is a new Manassas Supply Center to open in summer 2022. To learn more about Brickworks Design Studios, visit https://glengery.com/brickworks-design-studios.