BRICK LIGHT: THE BRICK EVOLUTION

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SIMES construes itself by conceiving a proper interpretation of a component that goes along with humanity in its constructive journey for over five thousand years while keeping its features unaltered until today. With the event of the Brick Light luminaire, light becomes a structural item; the shape of a brick brings a new materiality to determine and to enhance the volumes of architecture.

The origins of brick: 5000 years of history
The shape of the brick: tailor-made for the man’s hand
Brick Light: light becomes matter
The Structural Light

The origins of brick: 5000 years of history

Since ancient times, the clay brick has attended worldwide the history of architecture almost to identify itself with it .Even today it is one of the most used materials for its high and multiple qualities concerning the static, durability, shape, texture and chromatic wealth.

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The clay brick is an item that goes with humanity in its constructive journey for over 5000 years. In fact, in Mesopotamia around 3500 years B.C. the raw clay brick already used by primordial men, was subjected to baking after mould processing. The result of this procedure provided a hardness and a durability to enable the building of the first important monuments of humanity, the ziggurats.

“...the architecture begins when you place two bricks carefully together...”
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

A component that comes from the earth
The brick is a material obtained by the baking of a mixture of clay and water. The different types of clay give the brick mechanical properties (hardness, refractoriness, etc.) and a variety of aesthetic properties. The brick is versatile, economical, robust and refractory; it is made of an easy to find raw material (clay), workable and warm in appearance, tractable and decorative. All these features made the brick the leading actor in the architecture. The brick is a timeless material, a silent companion of our evolution: everybody knows it for one has hold it in his hands at least once.

“The Brick Light project uses the brick for its geometrical, basic form, form and solid glass generating transparency, reflection and diffusion. Brick light composes these features around the new opportunities provided by electronics and LED technology.” Arch. Paolo Rizzatto

The shape of the brick: tailor-made for the man’s hand

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It is hard to imagine any other material or building item that has the human dimension of the brick: length, width, thickness and weight are all very suitable to men’s hand.

The brick as the prime number of architecture
The standard Italian brick measures 5,( x 12 x 25 cm, its ratio of the sides is thus 1:2:4 : this means that it has a perfect modularity ; it lends itself to be easily interlocked in many different ways, yet maintaining a well-ordered and regular composition. With a brick simple walls or magnificent cathedrals can be built: the modularity of the brick makes it the prime number capable of expressing the creativity of the designer and giving life to the work.

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Brick Light camouflages itself with the brick texture not only by taking on the form and the dimensions of the brick, but also by adopting the same modes of handling, assembly and installation thanks to its characteristics of resistance and manageability. The restrained and basic archetype form allows a perfect integration in walls. It is endlessly declinable and talks together with the rythm of the surfaces and appropriate lighting needs designed for integration with exposed brick surfaces such as:

exterior and interior
flush with walls , recessed or protruding
on a flat masonry or curvilinear wall
concave or convex
at the centre or at an edge
isolated or arranged
at intervals or in a continous line
free or according to a plan.

Its compact geometry and its adaptability to enter into and identifying itself with the masonry itself, along with the solid glass, make it performant in terms of maintenance, perishability over time and resistance against vandalism.

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Brick Light: light becomes material

Rugged like an exposed brick
Bricks and exposed components form the “ennobling” of the common brick for masonry for they will not be plastered afterwards. They will become decorative as well as structural elements of the architecture itself. Their manufacturing requires selected clay to ensure that the final product owns the appropriate aesthetic features, the maximum resistance to weathering and the typical performance of a material destined to be let exposed. Each item is unique: the craftsmanship makes each item different to the other for each hand, each mould and each baking will provide a unique and unrepeatable mark. Likewise Brick Light brings such aesthetic features that it deliberately will look as “imperfect”, as the result of the work of a craftsman.

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The Brick Light project starts from the composition of the material of glass and the shape of a brick. The surface of the brick is given by a glass casting according to craft methods so that a rugged surface is shaped that will provide inconstant features depending on how the glass solidifies. This specific processing brings value to each single item and makes it unique and unrepeatable. Brick Light of SIMES is a luminous brick with 5 exposed faces; this feature allows installation at edges or protruding from the wall. The specific ice etched finish of the solid glass with its internal LED light source will provide a diffused and uniform lighting on each side.

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The Structural Light

In the new collection “The Structural Light” of SIMES, light integrates into the architecture so as to become itself a live material like stone, concrete, glass. With the event of the Brick Light luminaire, via the shape of the brick, light becomes a structural item; it brings a new materiality to determine and to enhance the volumes of architecture. Moreover, light itself becomes architecture itself, a structural element like the brick and when it is off; it disappears. The research at SIMES takes shape in a component that uses the materiality of the glass, that becomes an important solid material : Brick Light is made up of a solid and robust glass casting: it is capable of bearing the weight of the architecture with an almost double load capacity of a normal brick (100N/ mm² vs 60N/mm²).

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Exhibition of Brick Light at space & interiors, Milan Design Week 2018

The LED, a long lasting luminous technology
LED light sources have replaced over the years the traditional halogen lamps because they ensure higher performance concerning energy saving and durability of the light source. An LED light source is capable of transmitting light for an average duration comprised between 30.000 and 100.000 hours. Apart from being made of Leds, a LED lamp uses electronic drivers and control devices, heat sinks to keep the temperatures of the Leds low, optics, protection and decorative devices . The high quality of all these items ensures proper operation over the yerars.

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Brick Light, extraordinary maintenance
Brick Light contains a light source based upon the latest LED technologies; the high quality components ensure a long life duration to the luminaire. Maintenance therefore is therefore to be considered extraordinary because latter could happen after many years of operation. In the event that the intensity of light source would run out , Brick Light may be used as a simple transparent structural element; alternatively it may be replaced as a normal brick or otherwise taken away and replaced in full.

In its structural version Brick Light is delivered pre-wired with a cable of 5 m: the product may therefore be installed by a bricklayer. The luminaire must be connected to the remote junction box and accessible for maintenance afterwards. To ensure an easy maintenance both at the moment of installation and afterwards, the arrangement of the remote driver is an essential element.

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Brick Light, structural or decorative luminaire for the exterior
Brick Light is also available as portable decorative luminaire for the exterior. This latest version is conceived as luminaire operating on Lithium polymers fed Battery via a micro USB plug with a maximum power (battery version) of 8 hours, with ON-OFF switch concealed at the bottom of the base and lateral three step (30% - 70%- 100%) dimming switch. The luminaire is supplied with with Micro USB cable.