MCAA Interview with Tim Leese on Materiality Book

Words: Cass Stern

Founded in 1890, Glen-Gery has been a cornerstone of American brick manufacturing for over a century. With a rich history spanning more than 130 years, Glen-Gery has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs of the construction industry. Today, Glen-Gery has become one of the largest brick manufacturers in the United States and is known for its commitment to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

In 2018, Glen-Gery took a significant step forward by joining forces with Brickworks, Australia's leading brick manufacturer. Brickworks, founded in 1934, has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality bricks and building products. With operations across Australia and New Zealand, Brickworks has expanded its reach globally, making it a perfect partner for Glen-Gery's growth and expansion in North America. In an interview with Masonry Magazine, Tim Leese, Marketing Director at Brickworks North America, highlighted Brickworks' reputation and global presence, explaining that “Brickworks is one of the leading brick companies and the leading brick manufacturer in Australia. They wanted to move into the United States, and it started with the acquisition of Glen-Gery.”

In collaboration with Brickworks, Glen-Gery has produced “Materiality,” a captivating coffee table book that celebrates unique brick designs in schools and universities across the United States. The book, curated by Roger Ringer, features approximately 30 projects that showcase the versatility and beauty of brick in educational settings.

As both the editor and curator of “Materiality,” Ringer played a pivotal role in bringing this inspiring book to life. With a keen eye for design and a passion for architecture, he carefully selected and curated the projects featured in the book. His expertise and dedication to showcasing unique brick designs in educational settings have made “Materiality” a must-have for architects, designers, and brick enthusiasts alike.

Speaking on behalf of Glen-Gery and Brickworks North America, Leese outlined Ringer's contributions, explaining that “we provided him with a list of projects here in the United States that use brick and the subject or the focus of the book is ‘unique brick designs’ in schools and universities,” recognizing “the fact that a lot of universities and schools utilize masonry and brick especially, and we wanted to highlight those projects.” Ringer's expertise and vision have helped create a book that celebrates innovative brick design and pays tribute to the architects and designers who make these projects possible.

Leese also shared insight into the creativity behind the book, stating, “it's really about providing inspiration through the use of brick, and featuring these projects.” By highlighting these projects and the architects behind them, “Materiality” aims to inspire architects and promote the use of brick in innovative ways.

One critical aspect of “Materiality” is its emphasis on the architects behind the featured projects. The book's focus is “not only the projects,” Leese noted, “but the architects who design them.” Therefore, “Materiality” serves as a platform for these architects to share their insights and design philosophies, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process.

Morris Adjmi, who contributed an article to the book about his love for brick, participated in the launch event panel discussion. He joined six other architects to discuss their projects and the design process behind them. “We got seven architects participating in a program... they'll each get an opportunity to talk about their projects in the book and the design with brick and masonry,” Leese said.

The launch event for “Materiality” took place in Glen-Gery's design studio in New York City on April 18th. With over 300 RSVPs, the event was a testament to the industry's enthusiasm for innovative brick design. Attendees could engage with the architects featured in the book and learn more about their projects and design philosophies.

The book was made available to architects who requested a copy at the event. “They can request one through a website. We'll be handing them out at the event... basically distributing them ideally in person to architects that request them,” Leese explained.

In addition to “Materiality,” Glen-Gery is launching an Architect Collaboration Program to foster creativity and innovation in brick design. “A couple of architects will get a chance to come to our Mid-Atlantic Manufacturing facility and collaborate on a shape design,” Leese shared. This initiative reflects Glen-Gery's commitment to collaboration and partnership within the architectural community, further solidifying its role as a leader in the brick manufacturing industry.

“Materiality” is more than just a coffee table book; it celebrates innovative brick designs and the architects who bring them to life. This publication inspires architects and designers worldwide with Roger Ringer's expert curation, Glen-Gery and Brickworks' commitment to quality and innovation, and the book's potential industry impact.

By showcasing the versatility and beauty of brick in educational settings, “Materiality” could inspire architects to explore new design possibilities and incorporate brick into their projects in innovative ways. Additionally, the Architect Collaboration Program and launch event demonstrate Glen-Gery's dedication to fostering creativity and collaboration within the architectural community, further contributing to the industry's growth and evolution.

For architects interested in receiving a copy of “Materiality” or learning more about Glen-Gery's products and initiatives, visit www.glengery.com

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