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Corobrik face brick creates inspirational 01 on Mutual inner city building

Urban renewal across South Africa is a fundamental move towards addressing past mistakes, replacing the dilapidated and forgotten with something fresh and inspiring thereby re-energising the city’s heart. And for the rejuvenation of an area, it is important that the foundation is built with an inspirational product, something that is durable and practical, while simultaneously creating something exceptionally attractive. For this reason, Corobrik’s face brick range has been chosen time and again. 

“Developers involved in these inner-city projects are looking to establish buildings, used for living, working and shopping, that will remain intact for decades to come,” said Musa Shangase, Corobrik’s Commercial Director. “These are long-term projects as we don’t want to begin another urban renewal a few years down the line. This is one of the primary reasons why face brick is being selected.”

Shangase said the face brick exterior requires no maintenance.  In addition, the durability and resilience allowed them to withstand even the harshest elements and the natural propensity for absorbing and releasing moisture protects the building against mould growth which contributes towards ‘sick building syndrome’. The brick also minimises heat retention in hot months while keeping the building warm in cooler months. 

“There is no plastering and painting later making this an extremely cost-effective option,” continued Shangase. “And, on top of this, the completed structure is somewhere people want to reside or work because of its overall aesthetic appeal.”

An excellent representation of the inspirational face brick finish is the 01 on Mutual rental apartment block situated within the Pretoria Central Business District. Completed by GASS Architecture Studios and developed by City Property Administration as part of its urban renewal project, the building forms part of the organisation’s vision to bring new life into the cities. This is upmarket, sophisticated property which is customer-centric, boosting social cohesion and attracting people to share a living and working space. 

According to City Property Administration, the provision of upmarket accommodation within the city is vital and it is committed to restoring South Africa’s capital to a vibrant epicentre of culture, arts, government and business. 

“Face brick is both aesthetically pleasing and hard wearing, especially beneficial for city living,” explained Georg van Gass of GASS Architecture Studios. “The contemporary architectural style, which also complements the existing city aesthetic made face brick the perfect choice.”

The R161 million development comprises 142 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom residential units with access from Mutual Street. The apartment block has been designed around a landscaped courtyard on the fourth floor which provides recreational facilities for residents. One on Mutual also offers 400m² of office and 1 550m² of retail space with safe parking for 210 vehicles. 

GASS explained that the building façade was constructed using the 310 Silvergrey Satin and 180 000 Silvergrey Travertine face bricks in a mixture of stack and Flemish bonds in a random 50-50 pattern. 

“The Flemish bond with voids was used in the parking levels to allow for ventilation of the area,” explained Renato Lopes of GASS. “This missing brick was both a functional and aesthetic decision as the pattern creates an eye-catching design. The mix of both types of face brick also gave a subtle contrast between the bricks and the facades and, to make the construction somewhat more complex, the patterned wall also had a combination of 82 000 Silvergrey Satin Solids combined with the face bricks.”

Lize Nel, Marketing Specialist for City Property Administration said this design became a signature of the building: “The brick façade with voids in the parking levels of 01 on Mutual is such a distinguishable element of the building and this striking design pattern inspired all the marketing collateral for 01 on Mutual.  We used the brick configuration as a subtle visual element to differentiate our flagship building from all the other properties we manage.”

Commenting on the use of face brick overall, Gass said it was becoming a preferred choice for modern construction. “It is attractive and hard-wearing. The longevity of building materials is becoming a big part of construction and face brick continues to prove itself.”

Caption:  Corobrik’s Silvergrey Satin and Silvergrey Travertine face bricks have been used to construct the striking 01 on Mutual rental apartment block in the Pretoria Central Business District. Photo credit City Properties photographer Marike Lamprecht