Decorative Brick (or concrete) privacy screens- need help!

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Decorative Brick (or concrete) privacy screens- need help!

Postby Valencia » Sat Jul 09, 2005 1:36 pm

I am in the process of revamping a 1960's home in Palm Springs and have been quite taken by the decorative privacy/sunscreen walls that are so popular in the 1960's tract homes of that area- the problem is that I have been scouring the internet for sculpted bricks for a privacy wall and have come up with zip leads. Does anyone know where to obtain such bricks? Or at least a mold for said bricks?

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Postby SDR » Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:05 pm

While we wait to see if anyone can help with the perforated concrete blocks you mention, another solution is also available: the laying of standard blocks or bricks in such a way as to created an open-work lattice or screen:

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/sdrdesign ... pg&.src=ph

The photo is of a ventilated equipment enclosure made of standard red brick laid in such a pattern. I though it was extremely handsome when I happened across it (at a county water department facility in Marin) so I took a few photos of it. You can see the size of the openings at the top right of the wall. I have another photo which shows the way the corner looks.

A combination of 4x8x16 and 8x8x16 concrete blocks -- or a combination of 8x8x16 blocks and 2x16x16 concrete pavers -- could yield a lively texture with openings of 2 or 4 or 8 inches in height, depending on how much privacy was required. This wall could be painted or left natural; blocks and bricks come in a variety of tones, of course, so a "weave" of these materials could be quite colorful, in a natural palette of earth tones.

SDR
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Did you try

Postby modfan » Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:45 pm

'concrete grille blocks' when you used Google? I think that is the correct block term. You are right they are cool-ya seem em a lot in the modern homes in Las Vegas-see pics in res. gallery.

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Postby Tony » Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:25 pm

You might want to try these people:



I didn't see perforated block on the website, but I think it is available if you ask. I also don't think that you can buy directly from them - you have to go through a contractor perhaps.

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Postby SDR » Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:32 pm

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Postby hoodlam » Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:24 pm


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Postby SDR » Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:43 pm

Inspired by Valencia's quest, and my subsequest claim that decorative screens can be made from standard masonry units, I offer a brief album of such screens, starting with two "found examples" and concluding with four of my own invention.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/sdrdesign ... .dir=/1862

I have titled my album "Breeze Block"; this is a term in use in Great Britain, possibly meaning the same as "concrete block," here. I would be curious to know what its origin and correct meaning are. (Any Brits in the audience?) I liked the sound of it in the context of our present subject.

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Postby momp57 » Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:53 pm

I found a 1963 Sunset book titled "How to Build Walks, Walls & Patio Floors. It has 6 or 7 pages on concrete block walls. There are a couple of images of nice looking walls constructed using standard blocks.

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Postby SDR » Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:06 pm

Hmm -- I wonder if that would help this guy:

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... ight=fence

SDR
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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:12 am

Hi SDR,

I really like the zig-zag pattern you came up with. I may work something similar into something I'm thinking about, with an asymetrical line of shelving cantilevered from the wall to hold potted plants. I'll let you know how it turns out (still in the planning stages right now). I'm trying to come out with somthing angular that matches the zig-zag roofline of my butterfly-and-a-half.

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Postby SDR » Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:13 am

Sounds good. If only the discipline that characterizes our favorite architecture, were extended into the landscape with equal rigor! Too often the lines are allowed to "wander" a liitle bit too much (for my taste, anyway). The point of architectural landscape is to let the plant materials provide the "randomness" -- the man-made parts (like the house itself) forms the geometrical foil to the lovely looseness of the trees and other growth. No?

Funny you should mention plants; I went to bed thinking about an array of votive candles on each available surface, for some special occasion. Some of these perforated wall designs might adapt themselves nicely to accept planting -- when arranged as a retaining wall (?) or with built-in surfaces for pots, etc, as you suggest. . .

The zig-zag design depends on the use (in this example) of 6x8x16 blocks (which could have open ends as shown or closed ones). A variation would be to alternate courses of 8" high blocks with 4" high ones (if available). All the designs shown ae made from standard units with little or no cutting -- note the 6x6x8 blocks at the ends of alternate rows.

SDR
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Postby SDR » Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:45 am

Bad "architect," no donut! Astute observers may note that there is an error in my "zig-zag" drawing; the blocks are drawn as though they were 6x18 inches in plan. No such size exists, of course; to be drawn correctly, the gap between parallel blocks in each course should be reduced to 4 inches.

I am working on variations of the design. . .

SDR
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Postby hoodlam » Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:10 am


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Postby SDR » Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:15 am

I like that description, as it pertains to the pierced screens under discussion. I would adopt your words to describe MY "breeze blocks."

However, I'm pretty certain that is not how the British use the term; in the context in which I've encountered it (in modern British fiction), it seems to refer to a way of building houses. "He lived in a small breeze-block cottage in Woking. . ." I'm thinking it refers to some sort of concrete block (or clay tile?).

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Postby hoodlam » Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:00 am

I see I missed the point i thought that the block you were refering to was the laced concrete block. yeah i don't know about the breeze block origin

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Postby SDR » Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:16 am

We'll have to wait for someone of the British persuasion to answer that one, I guess. Maybe I'll Google the term. . .

In the mean time, does anyone know about sources for the openwork ("screen") blocks that Valencia refers to? Our friend Sid has such a screen in front to his house.

SDR

Aha. ". . .Cinder blocks [lightweight concrete blocks] are called breeze blocks in England. . ." according to an online dictionary.
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Postby mtwall » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:11 pm

Basalite Concrete Products (in California) carries at least one patterned concrete block. Go to http://www.basalite.com and click on the photo under "Structural Block". You will be asked to select a region. Choose "California".

Next, select "Specialty Shapes". Scroll to the 10th pattern --- four leaves inside a square block (called "Cloverleaf"). There are also some other common block patterns that could be used in unusual ways to create an interesting privacy wall.

Hope this helps!

Margot
www.ValleyModern.com
Last edited by mtwall on Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby SDR » Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:01 pm

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Aren't these walls called...

Postby KevinEP » Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:28 am

Stone screens (as in Edward Durell Stone)?

Kevin

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Postby SDR » Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:17 am

I hadn't heard that -- but it would make sense (if being slightly confusing?)

Maybe it's time for a "coffee table" book of decorative masonry screen walls. . .perhaps to include decorative patterns of block and brick masonry as used in MCM architecture? Palm Springs would have a lot to offer by way of examples.

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Postby hoodlam » Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:37 pm

While it doesn't deal strictly with masonry block, the book Pretty Vacant by Clive Piercy does have some instances of wall inspiration.

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Postby SDR » Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:36 pm

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Brick screens

Postby ksjoyner » Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:43 am


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Found decorative block

Postby ksjoyner » Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:04 am

http://www.westernblock.com/v2/includes/catalog.php
This place sells the hollow or cored decorative block. Go to fence block, which will be a PDF file, and look for the decorative block. It is the same type that was used in our fence.

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Postby SDR » Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:37 pm

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Postby spinsLPs » Sun Aug 14, 2005 5:04 pm

Here's a pretty interesting block wall from some trendy resturant close by.

Image

Image

Image

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Postby SDR » Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:07 pm

Nice ! Makes a neat optical effect. . .
Looks like they took a standard block and found a way to space and adhere it. How deep are the black (?) reveals between blocks?

Thanks for the pics. SDR
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Postby spinsLPs » Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:17 pm

I'll have to go back with a tape rule. I'm guessing that the block that they used were about 2 to 3" tall.

Glad you enjoyed the pics.

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Postby SDR » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:11 am

Thanks. Don't worry too much -- indeed, it may be no business of mine how that effect was achived ! They look like the ends of blocks that would have to be at least 4" tall (in my limited experience). Anyway, your handsome photos tell us the story: a beautiful and original wall.

SDR :cheers:
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Postby Tony » Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:47 pm

SpinsLPs,

This is on Washington in Venice, isn't it?

Any idea who designed the restaurant? Looks really cool!

Thanks!

Tony
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