Michelmersh win 5 awards at the BDA's Brick Awards 2021

Michelmersh is proud to announce that it won 5 awards and was highly commended for another 4 at the BDA's Brick Awards 2021.

With stunning trophies designed by award-winning designer, architect and researcher, Maria Gasparian, the 45th Brick Awards received a record number of entries.


In her final year as Head Judge, Hilary Satchwell led a team of 14 esteemed judges with the unenviable task of selecting the best of the best. All categories received superb examples of brickwork, taking friendly rivalries to a new level and showcasing the best talent the UK Brick industry has to offer.

Michelmersh’s first award last night went to House-within-a-House by alma-nac in the ‘Individual Housing Development’ category. A unique project that wraps a brick structure around an existing house from 1957, giving the house a contemporary facelift in a conservation area. 12,670 Michelmersh bricks were used in the project to provide an economical and thermally-efficient home while allowing the project to be sympathetic to its historic London neighbours.

Judge's Comment: “The warm grey brick complements the neighbourhood’s buff London stock brick, without trying to mimic the naturally aged material.”

The next award went to The Officer’s House by AHMM (Allford Hall Monaghan Morris) in the ‘Medium Housing Development’ category. The Officer’s House redeveloped a Grade II listed building that had suffered extensive structural damage and provided additional housing with a new twin block. A total of 34 new homes were created and Block B’s façade uses loadbearing Flemish bond brickwork with expressed dark headers and deep windows.

Judge's Comment: “The brickwork was carefully incorporated into the existing envelope to match the Flemish-bonded, London stock brickwork. This has been executed brilliantly.”

The ‘Large housing development’ was won by Tim Groom Architects for Excelsior Works. Consisting of 108 apartments, the site is inspired by the area’s rich, industrial past. A large directive of the project was to blend in seamlessly with the fabric of the city and 15,000,000 handmade bricks were made by Michelmersh to do so. Each high-quality brick stamped with the Maker’s initials in an additional tribute to the site’s history as a printing and bookbinding works.

Judge's Comment: “The Brick choice looks good and sits well in the vernacular. A highly successful project.”

Another award came from the ‘Specialist Brickwork Contractor Category’ for University College Hospital Phase 5 by Pilbrow and Partners and Hobhouse Court by TP Bennett. UCLH Phase 5 was designed to be efficient in operational and energy consumption and put the patient experience first. It has been considered “a game-changer for hospital design”. Hobhouse Court occupies an architecturally sensitive area surrounding Trafalgar Square but has a distinctly contemporary façade that needed brickwork to reflect the surrounding vernacular's richness, grain, and materiality. 

Judge's Comment: “Swift Brickwork Contractors has grown to be a household name within the industry and has completed many of the capital’s most iconic buildings. At the heart of that success is a company work ethic founded on delivering high-quality buildings, training new bricklayers and providing a safe workplace for all employees."

Michelmersh’s final award came in the ‘Craftmanship Category’ for Wolverton Hall Folly by Quinlan Terry Architects. A beautiful tribute to Georgian Follys, the octagonal, 46ft tall structure uses Charnwood factory bricks to remain true to 18th-century houses and disguise the buildings true age. A total of 24 brick moulds were created to allow for 36,000 specifically shaped bricks to shape the architect’s vision.

Judge's Comment:“The folly is a tour-de-force of brick manufacture and construction, demonstrating the skill of the brickmaker and the craft of the bricklayer, and that traditional design can be innovative and dramatic.”

Michelmersh products were also used in several highly commended categories encompassing the ‘Refurbishment Category’ for 1950’s Throwback To The Future by Sanya Polescuk Architects; ‘Public Category’ for University College Hospital by Pilbrow and Partners; ‘Urban Regeneration’ for St. Leonard’s Court by Child Graddon Lewis and in the ‘Commercial Category’ for Hobhouse by Brisac Gonzalez.

Michelmersh Joint Chief Executive Officer, Frank Hanna said:“With a huge range of shortlisted projects we are extremely proud to receive the BDA’s recognition across varying typologies and in particular the Craftmanship, Specialist Brickwork Contractor, Large, medium and individual housing developments. This is a testament to Michelmersh’s ability to maintain incredibly high standards and our ability to craft unique products based on architects’ bespoke designs. Seeing our products used by such acclaimed architects shows that Michelmersh plays a key part in building environments that can be enjoyed by local communities for generations to come”.

Category Winners:

  • Craftmanship Category – Wolverton Hall Folly – Quinlan Terry Architects
  • Large Housing Development – Excelsior Works – Tim Groom Architects
  • Medium Housing Development – The Officer’s House – AHMM
  • Individual Housing Development – House-within-a-House – alma-nac
  • Specialist Brickwork Contractor Category – University College Hospital –  Pilbrow and Partners | Hobhouse Court –  TP Bennett

Highly Commended:

  • Refurbishment Category – 1950’s Throwback To The Future – Sanya Polescuk Architects
  • Public Category – University College Hospital –  Pilbrow and Partners
  • Urban Regeneration – St. Leonard’s Court – Child Graddon Lewis
  • Commercial category – Hobhouse – Brisac Gonzalez

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