Not many bricks celebrate an actual birthday. Then again, not not many bricks are designed by an internationally-renowned architect. Until Petersen’s Kolumba™ brick was 'born'.
The magnificent Kolumba™ brick first appeared over 10 years ago, when the Kolumba Museum in Cologne, Germany, opened in September 2007, below.
Swiss Architect, Peter Zumthor, wanted a special brick in a Roman format for the museum, which integrates the chapel Madonna in den Trümmern, Roman ruins from the 1st century CE, and church foundations from the 9th and 13th centuries. Petersen’s brickworks in Broager submitted a proposal and, after months of experiments with colours and firing, the delicate, pale-grey brick was approved.
Named after the museum itself, in actual fact, the grey brick was a result of a firing error, but Zumthor thought it was just perfect.
And, its size was ideal for the museum because the Kolumba™ brick's
40mm height made it easy to fit in with the ruins' complex and detailed surfaces and shapes.
But that wasn't the end of the Kolumba™ brick's design.
Before the museum was completed, Lundgaard & Tranberg, Danish architects, further refined the brick product. Petersen Tegl imported English and German clay to create the colour that Lundgaard & Tranberg wanted in their version of the brick. The result was the stunning hard-fired Kolumba™ in dark, earthy colours for the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen, shown at right. The Playhouse opened in 2008.
Today, the Kolumba™ range includes 28 different colours, and is used in a multitude of buildings styles and types in 43 countries across five continents.
In Australia you may have seen the growing number of Kolumba™ projects over recent years. The images below should rekindle your interest in this stunning brick that more than one architect has fondly described as a "true work of art". Our next blog will celebrate and showcase a spectacular, award-winning design using Petersen's K55 and K21 bricks. So watch this space.