With its artisanal nature reflected in its name (‘mano’ means hand in Italian), the Mano Bricks collection explores a distilled material palette of hand-finished stone, hand-pressed terracotta and hand-cast glass in nine different shades and an expanding range of formats. The foundational piece of the collection is a full brick of elongated proportions – a reference to the classic Roman shape – with the stone and terracotta versions complemented by corner and face brick options.
Significantly, it is the veneer-like face brick that invites an exploration of new design possibilities, providing the appearance of a complete brick wall without the challenges of weight or other restrictions. More cost-effective than full bricks and with a faster installation time, face bricks are suitable for both internal and external application, providing superior moisture management in the latter context.
Through a human-centred manufacturing process, the attributes of the bricks’ natural materials are coaxed to the fore with shade and subtlety; the dramatic marble veining of the charcoal-grey Nive limestone brick, for example, is celebrated with careful hand-brushing, while the milky-cream of the Panna terracotta brick reveals its exquisite tonal variation through a considered process of hand-pressing and kiln-firing.
This desire to highlight the singular qualities formed by and found in nature is firmly
aligned with the Eco Outdoor ethos, underpinning each stone, paver and patinated plank of timber flooring in the company’s portfolio. “Our approach to materials and architecture is that the material should reinforce the architecture; it should complement without being too noisy or overpowering,” says Eco Outdoor Founder Ben Kerr. “The value that we bring to architecture is all about celebrating imperfection and the emotions that creates when you live in a space. The handmade nature of our Mano Bricks helps people feel relaxed in the space they’re in, and it also relaxes the architecture.”
With its thin profile and elegant shape, Eco Outdoor’s Mano face brick emerges as a new approach for architectural design, rewarding experimentation with a subtle expression of tone and tactility. Crafted from stone or kiln-fired clay, the aesthetic timelessness of the face-brick format is more than matched by its functional longevity.