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Bricks made of church tower debris

Dutch circular concept firms Brokkenmákers and New Horizon have developed a circular brick made from debris from the renovation of the Dom Tower of Utrecht and Dutch river clay.

The Dom Tower of Utrecht is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands as part of the never completed St. Martin’s Cathedral, also known as the Dom Church, which was built between 1321 and 1382. Since the collapse of the unfinished nave in 1674, the Dom Tower is freestanding.

Between 2020 and 2024, the Dom Tower is being renovated. The debris and grit that are left over are reused as much as possible. Brokkenmákers and New Horizon collaborated with brick manufacturer Wienerberger to initiate a special circular brick made of this leftover material. The result is the Domsteen (Dom Stone). The brick helps prevent demolition waste, and some of the proceeds go to an artwork made of light on the Tower.

New Horizon makes the debris suitable to use in the bricks. The main raw material is Dutch river clay, which is available abundantly and locally. The waste material of the Dom Tower is added, creating a brick that is both functional and aesthetic, according to the designers. The bricks are available in various colours and can be recycled at the end of the brick’s life cycle.

The Domsteen is part of the project ‘Van Dom tot steengoed’ (a play on the Dutch words Dom, both the name of the church and meaning dumb, and ‘steengoed’, meaning both really great and stoneware). The project aims to give the debris from the renovation a sustainable function and to fund the light art project ‘In Lumine Tuo’.

Photos: Brokkenmákers