Their ability to screen, secure and cool has meant that the practicalities of these blocks compliments their decorative appeal (including their dazzling shadow play). While original versions were most often left bare, the current treatment is to give them a lick of paint, often white, for a fresher take.
Pretoria based architecture firm Mathews and Associates have incorporated squared breeze block walls that envelop the courtyards of their new offices. “Breeze blocks fell out of fashion in the postmodern era and are only recently making a comeback. I see them not as a stylistic building element from a specific era, but one with functional purpose. Proper passive design, which includes natural airflow, can negate the use of air conditioners or at least reduce their work load,” says Pieter Mathews.