Integrating with the neighborhood

About Ledge Brick

How it looks

Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architects were asked to develop a design for quality supportive housing for young adults with mental health needs, including those transitioning out of foster care.

According to architect Fialka Semenuik, their challenge was, “How can we make this a place anyone would feel proud to call home?”

“We were inspired by the richness of surrounding 19th century brick buildings with infill cut-stone facades,” says Semenuik. “Brick selection for the building facades early in the design process is one of the keys to helping people feel at home.”

The firm started looking at Kingston Block & Masonry’s Pozzotive Ground Face Brick’s gray color options, which “reflect the tonalities of the neighborhood context.”

Once they saw it was available in a longer format called ledge brick, they knew there was potential for brick patterning and details to emerge from this masonry unit type and material.

The Ledge Brick is of standard brick height, but its nominal 16″ length gives it a linear, modern proportion.

With 1/4 running bond pattern repeating every two courses, the feathered corner detail emerged, continuing into sections at the parapet.

“Given the precasting fabrication of the brick, the potential for casting the same mix into special shapes also came to light,” says Semenuik. “Window sill surrounds and parapet coping stones were precast with the same mix as the brick, for uniformity in color and pattern across the facades.”

James Young, Kingston Block & Masonry’s Director of National Sales Development, said that Pozzotive brick was a perfect choice for adding feature accents to the building’s walls.

“This is noted in the details on the corners of each building, in which the Ledge Brick was pulled forward from the plain of the wall adding shadows vertically to the ends of the building,” Young said. “But most recognized is the corbelled units, high atop the wall that runs across the length of the building.”

Although the building is slated to be 100% complete in early 2018, the early return has been an elegant yet bold presence within the cityscape.

Approaching the building at street level, one experiences the subtle brick detailing, and the groundface pattern of the brick surface comes into focus.

“The care and consideration apparent in the brick façade treatment reflects on residents as they enter, knowing they’ve come home,” says Semenuik. “We thank Kingston Block & Masonry for supporting us all throughout the design, bid and construction phases. We hear Kingston now has a nominal 24″ long brick, which we’ll definitely be interested in considering for other projects.”

We were inspired by the richness of surrounding 19th century brick buildings with infill cut-stone facades