Architecture Of The 17th And 18th Centuries

Under Henry iv. and Louis XIII., stone and brick were still used for public buildings, and slate was sometimes added to produce such picturesque effects as can be seen in the Henry iv. wing of Fontainebleau Palace, and in the chateaux of Monceaux and Verneuil built for the fair Gabrielle and the charming Henriette d'Entragues. The buildings in the Place des Vosges and the Place Dauphine in Paris, which date from the same reign, and the central part of the present castle of Versailles, built under Louis xiii., are also interesting examples of the use of stone and brick.

The reign of Louis xiv. offers, if we except the Palais Mazarin, few brick and stone structures. The use of brick for the ornamentation of public buildings ceased entirely from the middle of the 17th to the middle of the 19th century. But the people of the north and south of France continued to utilise it for private dwellings.

The use of brick continued to spread and increase in England after the Renaissance, and the 17th and 18th centuries have left some fine structures in which may be noticed bricks ornamented by stamping after firing and also by cutting after being laid in position.

Fig. 330. School of Architecture at Berlin.

Architecture Of The 19th Century


This is one of those countries in which bricks are the most important of building materials, Many bricks ornamented with designs in relief are made there for use in decorating buildings. The Schinkel School of Architecture (Fig. 330) and the Werder church in Berlin are remarkable examples of that kind of construction in which terra-cotta is used side by side with brick.


Baked clay under all forms and colours is here used almost exclusively; London, we may say, is built entirely of brick, but it is not embellished thereby, for the modern secret of brick architecture does not seem to be yet discovered in England. Many Renaissance imitations are built, and still more commonplace repetitions, but no stamp of originality or beauty is found on the modern brick buildings. We must, however, specially mention the new Natural History Museum in London (Fig. 331), a vast construction entirely built of stone-coloured brick, which is left uncovered both inside and outside. The general effect is most imposing.

Fig. 331. Natural History Museum of London.


This is the great brick country, and it is used there in all constructions: public buildings, houses, military works, civil works, etc. More than a thousand million bricks have been used in the extension and management of the port of Antwerp. This large consumption is only possible because of their low price. Ornamented bricks are also utilised for the decoration of houses.


As in Belgium, the cheapness of architectural pottery, and especially of brick, has stimulated the trade both in ordinary and decorated products.


This country being unprovided with building-stone, it is only natural that the brick manufacture should be highly developed in it. Thus we find on the banks of the large rivers, wherever numerous beds of clay are accumulated, huge brickworks which supply the bricks necessary for house-building, canals, sidewalks, roads; for everything is made of brick, even the mouldings which take the place of stone.


Whole towns in the north and south are built of uncovered bricks. Elsewhere they are only used in the interior for separating walls and fillings. But of late years a movement in favour of pottery has been observed. In Paris, several recent buildings offer examples of the combined use of iron and brick (Halles centrales, markets, etc.); of iron, brick, and terra-cotta (Pavilion de la Ville de Paris); or of iron, stone, terra-cotta, and brick (College Chaptal, Lycee Sevigne, Museum). The exhibitions of 1878 and 1889 have shown the decorative resources offered by the use of ordinary brick. Enamelled brick is also more extensively used (H6tel des Telephones).

North America

The United States consume an enormous quantity of bricks, and all their gigantic many-storeyed edifices are built of that material.

Brick is the principal if not the sole element in their immense railway stations, their colossal docks - in fact, in all those stupendous works which, if not showing great artistic merit, are at least executed with the greatest care.