Emily V. can attest that from the moment we began discussing fixing up a house together, I have been rambling about the possibility of incorporating breeze blocks. There is just something about them-- maybe its the geometric lines, or that they are so versatile, or that, when used thoughtfully, they continue to feel unique and special despite their recent resurgence in popularity.
I don't shy away from design elements simply because they are trendy. However, I do try my best to understand the root of the trend with the intention of incorporating it in an organic way that will hopefully have some staying power.
Breeze blocks were all the rage in the 50's and 60's in both residential and commercial design. As with most trends, the tide turned and suddenly they were considered completely out dated and out of style. More recently, the obsession with postwar design has included the return of appreciation for breeze blocks for both the aesthetic ornamentation, as well as their functionality.
In trying to navigate the squiggly line of passing trend vs. solid design, what helps shifts the dial for me is the functional versatility of the material. When combined, breeze blocks can create a screen that provides privacy, shade, ventilation and shelter from weather. They allow you to create walls with whatever degree of solidity or openness that you desire-- to a degree that isn't found in other materials. I should also mention that I just truly find them to be really beautiful.
I haven't figured out if or how we can incorporate breeze blocks into the exterior of our home just yet. I do know that we don't necessarily want to block any of the front facing windows of the house, which limits our options. Right now i've been tossing around the idea of creating screens to support either side of the front porch. Or perhaps a screen to cover the electrical boxes. Or maybe used as a lower fence around the front flower bed. Welcome to the hamster wheel in my head. We will sort it out, but for now, I hope you find some of these beautiful uses of breeze blocks as inspiring as I do.
Sources: The Return of the Breeze Block, Fourth image is mine, the sources of the other images are linked on click through.