Brick is an age-old building material that has been used in construction for centuries. Classic mud bricks are the most commonly used material for masonry. These never seem to go out of style! The warm rustic aesthetic of mud bricks has always been a part of the contemporary fabric. But, bricks are also available in a plethora of different colours. This diverse array of brick colours includes red, brown, yellow, orange, pink, grey, white, and black brick colours. This article delves into these different colours of bricks and how to use them for creating distinctive architecture.  

Classic Red Brick | Different colours of bricks

Red bricks are the most used bricks since the beginning of time. Made using clay mud, these bricks have a rustic regional appearance. All the classic and vernacular styles of architecture used these coloured bricks. Whether one goes for the classic traditional or contemporary style, they emanate a sense of ‘contextual romance’ for the built structures. 

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Red Brick House in Mexico_©Patrick Lopez Jaimes, Roberto Martínez

The Red Brick House, for example, uses classical vernacular materials for contextual references. The exterior of the house is contemporary in design, made by arranging the bricks in an artisanal way to create a textural jali screen. This use of classic brick to create a cutting-edge structure shows it’s versatile nature.  

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Lizigou Red Brick Ceremonial Hall Building_©Leo Sun

Built as a homage to the genius loci of the place, the Lizigou Red Brick Ceremonial Hall building is a refreshing take on the traditional approach.  It is envisioned as a space for reconnection with the traditional roots. The structure pushes the boundaries of possibilities of the simple red brick and creates varied spatial dimensions.

Rustic Brown Brick

Evoking a strong rustic sense of contextual materiality, the brown bricks are the subdued versions of red bricks. They tend to have a look that is more in line with the natural surroundings and thus stands out less. Brown bricks sometimes look vintage and have a timeless aesthetic. 

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Highland House_©Hélène Binet

The Highland House is a contemporary family home situated in a traditional-looking neighbourhood. This house explores and exploits the potential of brown brick as a structural, sculptural, and spatial material. This exploration creates the perfect contemporary home that fits the family’s needs. The timeless appearance of the brick makes this house context-appropriate. 

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Maria Montessori Mazatlán School_©Onnis Luque

Maria Montessori Mazaltan school uses classic brick as the prominent material. Due to a hot and humid climate, this strategy of using this lesser corrosion-prone material aids in prolonging the building age. It also helps in regulating the thermal comfort within the structure. The material and the form combined create the perfect backdrop for this unconventional place for education. 

Subtle Grey Bricks | Different colours of bricks

Grey bricks have become trending in modern construction. Predominantly, these come in 3 different formats, fly-ash bricks, concrete bricks, and sand-lime bricks. They lack clay in their composition. Fly-ash bricks are made from the leftover compound after burning coal and cement, thus they are sustainable and lightweight. Concrete bricks are made using cement and water. Whereas, sand-lime bricks are made using a mixture of sand, lime, and water. Grey bricks have a striking, sophisticated, and modern appeal. 

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China Resources Archives Library_©Shengliang Su

The China Resource Archive Library uses handmade grey bricks to balance the massing and render it with a rich texture. The simple mass of the building is broken by variations created using brick lattices. This creates visual interest for the grand voluminous structure. It also exemplifies the diverse textural possibilities a single material can create. Grey bricks here create dynamic exteriors and spacious interiors. 

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Unyang-dong Ria’s Two-Family House_©Roh Kyung

In an attempt to create a concise simplified volume, the architects decided to go with grey bricks and concrete as the primary materials. The built mass conjures the neighbourhood landscape as a seamless backdrop for the diversely built surroundings. This house harmonizes with its surroundings because of its material palette. The solid volumes of the house would appear heavy had the colour palette been any different. 

Soothing White 

White-coloured bricks are perfect to get a chic, vintage, and textural look, especially in interior spaces. They make the built mass look refined and create spaces that feel serene. White brick structures often seem to be an ode to the classic bricks, that aims to pick up on the charm with a modern approach. 

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Vinken House in Boechout, Belgium_©Pieter Geerts

This transitional home balances the traditional house silhouette to fit in a modern context. The white bricks with sharp red mortar lines create an uber-chic appearance of the house. The subtle white alongside the striking red makes a structured elegant looking facade

House 4AK_©Markus Jordaan
House 4AK_©Markus Jordaan

Non-face bricks are painted white to expose the handcrafted brick texture in this regional home. The white brick colour here allows the building to reflect upon the constantly changing day cycle and let the landscape stand out. The simple aesthetic of white bricks makes one perceive the built mass as monolithic volumes. 

Bold Black 

Black bricks are popularly used for their striking, bold appearance. These are made using additives such as K37 that effectively dye the brick to a dark black or grey hue. This additive is made mainly using iron oxide which is a non-toxic compound. The resulting grey-black coloured brick created is perfect for sophisticated modern buildings

Black Brick Villa in Damnavad_2022 ©Amazing Architecture
Black Brick Villa in Damnavad_2022 ©Amazing Architecture

The Black brick villa has a highly sophisticated appeal. Being contemporary in design with luxurious spaces this house is anything but ordinary.  This built mass seems like it’s carved out of a humongous monolith.  The black brick adds to its bold dramatic appearance. 

The Interlock_© Gilbert McCarragher
The Interlock_© Gilbert McCarragher

The bold black colour, the unshakable brick size, and the 3D single-dimensional facade are what make this built mass distinctive. The building is the perfect synthesis of a historical yet modern architectural approach. 

Rare Brick Colors | Different colours of bricks

Buda Art Centre_© Filip Dujardin , Paul Steinbrück

Apart from the brick colours already mentioned, bricks can come in several different colours like yellows, oranges, or even pinks. The colour of the clay brick will vary from region to region, depending on the clay content and the proportions used in the mix. 


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Namita Dhawan is an architect and a writer. She is extremely enthusiastic about architecture, design, history, research, and writing. She believes architecture is about power, it can provoke thoughts, and emotions, and control the actions of the users subtly.