This article, featured in RIBA Journal, finds Alexis Harrison of Arup, delving into the history of architectural ceramics as a beautiful and durable building material and its bright future, merging craft, artistry, and technology, to become a superior facade choice.
Harrison highlights that terra cotta is one of the most versatile architectural building materials because of its malleability and expressive nature. Terra cotta has long been revered for its artistic potential, in addition to its ability to mimic other materials such as granite, with the benefit of mass production.
There has been a resurgence of architects working with manufacturers to explore traditional casting techniques, combined with technology, to explore the unique forms achievable only with terra cotta. This, along with the development of unique glazes from expert ceramicists, such as Christine Jetten, has pushed the envelope of innovative building facades.