Goody Clancy is a higher education design firm known for architecture that creates a dialogue with our country’s leading institutions. In the past eight years, 60-70% of Goody Clancy’s new construction exterior wall assembles have been with brick masonry. While being a tried and true material, a brick wall is no longer a multiple wythe gravity loaded assembly following the methodology of our predecessors.
Today, a brick wall is a veneer rainscreen. It is held up with miscellaneous steel components and packed with insulation in the cavity. It is a complex layering of components that is very labor intensive, has a large carbon footprint, and requires a contractor to scaffold the entire project.
Our design challenge is to reconsider using this brick wall assembly and to instead explore the potentials in Terra Cotta. Can we design an opaque wall system that is cost effective, efficient, thermally capable, and has a decreased global warming impact? Can we lean on manufacturing technologies to avoid complex construction sequences ? Can we innovate beyond our contextual vernacular creating a façade that dialogues with the past while looking toward the future?