Turn ups are in

I’m reminded of those dizzying, almost unwatchable Transformers movies as I stare at interior designer Virgile and Partners’ makeover for a retail area in the Birmingham branch of high-end fashion store Harvey Nichols at architect Stanton Williams’ Mailbox. Thankfully, this wall is far easier on the eye, seemingly frozen mid-metamorphosis, creating a 3D wave pattern effect that was striking enough to win it the ‘Best Innovative use of Brick and Clay’ at the 2016 Brick Awards. Vertically coursed 18mm Staffordshire Blue brick slips and pistol slips were supplied by West Midlands firm Ketley Brick and combined to create the alluring sculpture. But unlike Optimus Prime, they’re not being challenged to the max here; the Class A engineering bricks have low rates of water absorption, high strength and good frost resistance and are normally used in more demanding external environments.

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