Christian A. Petersen, a self-proclaimed “Armani of brickmaking” and seventh-generation owner of Petersen Tegl, was rightfully described in the Financial Times last week as making the best bricks in the world.
A long-time respected friend and business collaborator of Robertson’s Building Products, Christian joined the ranks of Octogenarians in June, though shows no signs of slowing down. He still happily works full time, checking in at 7am every day, and just might consider moving to part time at age 95. We hear your huge sigh of relief, along with countless architects, designers and home owners the world around - all ardent admirers and customers of Petersen’s unique range of handmade bricks.
The reason why Petersen bricks have thrived over seven generations, Christian aptly explains: “When you travel the world and look at old buildings and streets, they are beautiful, they are hyggelig, because they couldn’t get consistency in bricks back then. But that’s why they are charming. That’s why we fire our bricks with flames and coal so they are never the same size or colour.”
You may recall it was architect Peter Zumthor, with whom Christian worked with to create the handmade Kolumba™ bricks for the Kolumba art museum in Germany, shown below. Peter and, rather accidentally, Christian cemented the world’s love affair with the perfect imperfections of handmade Petersen Kolumba™ bricks, now in demand and available in 33 shades, world-wide.
That’s what makes Petersen bricks so unique and well loved: The warmth, tonal variation and artisan quality.
But, as the Financial Times article suggests, the person behind the bricks makes them special, too.
Danish Queen Margrethe II, following a visit to Petersen Tegl, was quoted as saying, “Petersen is a company that one either runs away from screaming after 30 minutes, or stays with for the rest of one’s life.”
And architect Peter Guthrie, founding partner of DDG in New York, describes Christian as, “a joy to collaborate with.”
Indeed, to know the spirit and passion behind Christian, along with Annette his daughter and her husband Peter Zink who run the Copenhagen showroom, you have to be lucky enough to meet them in person. And hear the many colourful stories behind the brickworks and the bricks – the evolution of Kolumba™ bricks of course the most famous and enchanting of all.
Robertson’s Building Products is proud to be the sole distributor of Petersen bricks in Australia and New Zealand, and we encourage you to view this article and learn more about the intriguing man behind these beautiful bricks. It is a worthy read.
And even if you don’t read on, we know that you, like us, will look forward to seeing Christian A. Petersen continue to build and strengthen his legacy for many years to come.
Read the Financial Times article.
And for more Petersen brick inspiration, visit our Melbourne showroom, call us on +613 8199 9599, visit the Petersen website to view the whole range of Petersen bricks or view the slideshow below to see the variety of ways Petersen bricks have been used in Australia and New Zealand.
Images Christian A. Petersen, Kolumba Museum, Kolumba™ brick craftsmanship - Anders Sune Berg
Images Australian projects:
Thomas Street House Justin Alexander
Bellevue Hill House Luigi Rosselli Architects
The Riverlink Building Justin Alexander
Parkside Wollongong Ben Guthrie