Lignacite’s Roman Brick helps to make Rathbone Market Phase 2 – ‘come to life’

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This second phase of Canning Town’s Rathbone Market is now complete and the Lignacite Roman Brick truly does make the light bounce off the polished surface; the recycled aggregate providing real interest for the eye.


The Roman Brick has been used extensively at lower levels, including the entire subway entrance area and for the street planters. It has also been used to clad one of the 12 storey tower blocks.



Why the Roman Brick was used – What Adam West of CZWG Architects had to say.

“Initial thoughts were to use polished precast concrete panels, however the cost proved prohibitive, and whilst repetition of formwork was possible for the building facades, the irregular surfaces of the landscape design were complex. Lignacite’s Roman Brick however has all the benefits of the flexibility of brick at a more affordable cost and their sustainability credentials were also an important consideration. We looked at a number of colours and aggregate mixes for the material and settled on a mix of 50% recycled brown glass and 50% flint within the off white Snowstorm block. This mediates well between the dark earthy tones of the clay pavers of the hard landscaping and the colours of the upper levels. The planners were particularly concerned at our proposals for ‘blockwork walls’, however the 75 x 450mm module of the Roman Brick removes all associations with such a utilitarian finish. Light bounces off the polished surface and the recycled aggregate provides real interest for the eye.

Contractors did a fantastic job laying the bricks. It was a slow process, but the precise sharpness of the blocks and their gorgeous surface just cried out to be laid with care and they were”.

Adam West, CZWG Architects

Main contractor: John Sisk and Son Ltd

Bricklayers: D B Ryder & Co Ltd


The chosen ‘Roman Brick’ was been made incorporating recycled brown glass and flint, adding interest and colour to the matrix and highlighting the colours of the rainscreen cladding above.

Why Choose Our Roman Brick

The Roman Brick is either cut from our standard size block, or formed in a special block machine mould, we can therefore offer this format in all of our colours and texture combinations to create a large variety of different effects. Polished and Planished finishes allow crisp, clean lines, whilst splitting or shot blasting the product creates a softer more weathered appearance.

How it’s Made

As with all Lignacite products, Roman Bricks are manufactured from a range of different aggregates and incorporate a high percentage of recycled materials such as shell, recycled glass and mother of pearl.

Build Benefits

The units measure 440mm by 65mm, one third of the size of a traditional block, thereby allowing designers considerable flexibility and scope to create a unique look. The unit weighs less than 7kgs, a third of the weight of a full size block, meaning that there are no HSE lifting issues.

Lignacite Roman Bricks use half the embodied energy of standard clay bricks.

Being twice the length of a conventional brick, they can be laid more quickly.They also do not ‘swim’ making the build process faster and more cost effective.


Whilst creating a contemporary look, the use of Roman Brick can also facilitate new buildings to blend into more traditional settings.


Our aim is to work alongside designers to create unique products that compliment individual projects. This can include using the recycled aggregate from an existing building on a site, through to incorporating almost anything from natural sea shells to luminescent powder coated glass.

To view more Lignacite projects using the Roman Brick or any other of our products please visit:

Latest Lignacite News

Lignacite’s new improved Sound Insulation Figures

Lignacite concrete blocks are renowned for their exceptional sound insulation qualities, surpassing the performance based on the ‘mass law’ curve.

Recent testing by Lignacite Ltd has sought to investigate the enhancement that can be realised by applying acoustic linings to a 140mm wall built using Lignacite SP blocks.

The linings comprised Isocheck Isowave 23 and resulted in a significant uplift in the base level performance, achieving a sound reduction of 56 dB and 65 dB, Rw when applied to one and both faces of the wall.

These results make Lignacite blockwork suitable for applications that require demanding levels of sound insulation to be complied with.

Download the new revised datasheet and figures here.




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