Acme Brick’s Blade Cut Brick Debuts on New Texas A&M San Antonio Campus

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

Texas A&M San AntonioConstruction of Texas A&M San Antonio’s new Central Academic Building opens a new chapter for the A&M system, and an entire new product line for Acme Brick.

Texas A&M’s new, expansive San Antonio campus is a bold commitment to an underserved South Texas market. According to Acme Brick, its staff worked closely with the design team to create a blade cut brick for a smoother surface texture than tradition manufacturing methods. The creative use of Acme’s new, smoother blade cut brick helped the architects interpret regional tradition and architectural history in striking ways. This is most dramatically seen in the spandrel portion of the Central Academic Building’s frontispiece where Acme full 4x8 solid units were cut in half at 45-degree angles in the field to create the wall’s staggered 45-degree sawtooth brick pattern.

Texas A&M San AntonioIn the architect’s words, “We designed Texas A&M San Antonio to reflect historic traditions and sources of architecture in South Texas, drawing on the examples of Mission San Jose, Spanish colonial buildings, and even Granada,” said Geoff Edwards, AIA, principal, Muñoz & Company Academic Building. “With brick specifically, we looked at how many variations, patterns, and shadow effects we could achieve with a single modular brick. Acme was willing to reconsider the manufacturing process to create just the right consistent look across the growing campus with a less-textured blade cut brick, and then help us shave costs by creating a thin brick for monumental archways. Acme’s local sourcing was important in ongoing efforts to build responsibly now, and over the full development of the 694-acre site.”

Architect: Muñoz & Company, San Antonio
Associate Architect: Bennett Benner Partners
General Contractor: Bartlett, Cocke, San Antonio
Manufacturer: Acme Brick Company
Mason Contractor: Shadrock & Williams, Helotes, Texas

Acme Brick Company, founded in 1891, is the nation’s largest brickmaker. Acme operates 26 brick plants and has 70 company-owned sales offices across 17 states, plus a nationwide network of independent distributors. Other Acme operations include American Tile & Stone; Featherlite Building Products; Innovative Building Products; and Texas Quarries. Acme Brick Company has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. since 2000.

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