Back in the 1930’s a new type of concrete brick started to appear. These bricks had cutouts in them and whilst originally called architectural screen blocks, it wasn’t long before they became known by their colloquial name of Breeze Blocks.
It wasn’t until the mid century stripped back modern design period of the 1950’s and 60’s that Breeze Blocks truly hit a peak in popularity.
By then, they were popping up all over the world, and particularly in coastal towns in the West US, Mexico, Australia and elsewhere. They were particularly favoured in hot climates as they allowed a breeze in – hence ‘breeze blocks’ but they were also popular in areas prone to hurricanes because they reduced the impact of strong winds on buildings.
Breeze blocks are often used for fences or garden surrounds, or walls that don’t need to bear a heavy load.
Going back to the 1930’s and Art Deco period, breeze blocks were then popular for the transition areas between home and garden.
By the 1950’s the blocks were popular in home and commercial design too – featuring in many a car park wall in post modern Australia.
By the 1970’s, breeze blocks had passed their use by date, and for several decades very few designs were available from a small number of manufacturers.
Breezy Modern Design makes a comeback
But today, the revival of modern home design has seen the breeze block make a big comeback with a much broader palette of designs to choose from. The traditional types are still available but beautiful circle, cone and other patterns are now emerging, allowing designers to match a block to just about every home style.
Melbourne Brick is proud to stock a wide range of breeze blocks for our customers and you can see the displays in our superstores. Perhaps your home will become a design icon, just like this mid 20th century home in Palm Springs in the USA.