Architectural practice is about designing and developing something that is beautiful, practical and true to what the client specifies. The product shown above is a pre-cast concrete system with brick in lay to give you this pseudo façade that imitates a brick exterior. Though new products like these are hitting the shelves on a daily basis, does it begin to lose the true beauty in a material? The products website tries to entice the buyer by saying that you will not have the issues that come with a normal brick exterior; No more water leakage is a great advertisement ploy when you think of the time and labor associated with replacing a cracked or even broken brick. Sure if your client comes to you and says that they want the cheapest cost associated with the exterior, a prefabricated wall would be the route to go. Odds are, they would not be able to, or care, their exterior is just bricks placed into a concrete structure.
Instead of brick, picture your stereotypical Northwood’s log cabin. Would you as a homebuyer want to spend the amount of money that cabins like that costs if you knew that the exterior was fake? I know that I would not because there is richness in seeing those logs on that exterior and if they were not real, would you really get that warm, welcoming sensation?
This may just be my architectural mind thinking to critically about these new pseudo materials but in the end, isn’t it our duty as architects to design something that is beautiful, practical, but more of all true?