Formsten toldboden Thisted
© Egernsund Wienerberger A/S

500 special bricks for an icon

architectum issue: roof and façade

Formsten Toldboen i Thisted
© Egernsund Wienerberger A/S

Custom-made bricks for customs house

in Denmark

Formsten Toldboen i Thisted
© Egernsund Wienerberger A/S

Products used

Custom made

500 special bricks for an icon

After 134 years, the façade of the listed customs building in Thisted, Denmark, was in need of attention and was completely renovated using custom-made products.

Custom-made bricks for customs house in Denmark

The iconic Toldboden building in Thisted, Denmark, was commissioned by King Christian IX in 1885 and was in need of restoration. For architects Rødbro & Frederiksen, it was crucial to preserve the building’s intricate stonework, but this was no easy task.
 
“The façade has many details; the building is a masterpiece. We wanted to have special bricks made that resembled the originals, but it was incredibly difficult to find a finish, colour and shape that was similar to the existing ones”, recalls architect Mathilde Rødbro. “We only succeeded thanks to the people at Egernsund Wienerberger.”

A sensitive process

The masonry of the old customs house was first cleaned to see what type of bricks were needed. “It was vital for us to find a balance between retaining the existing bricks and replacing them with new ones. We examined each individual brick to determine if it had to be replaced or whether it could be retained.
 
This is a very sensitive process because the results also have to stand the test of time”, explains Rødbro. In addition to bricks in the ‘Swedish format’, ten different types of special bricks had to be produced to match the buildings original appearance. “The building is made of red bricks with a soft texture in the Swedish format, which are much larger than bricks in the standard Danish format. We also used special bricks for the cornices, building base, panels and window frames. Not all brickworks can offer this variety, but it was essential for the overall result.”

More than 500 special bricks

To create faithful replicas of the original moulded bricks, the architects themselves produced a number of moulds. A local manufacturer made CNC-cut aluminium moulds that were used to form the bricks that could not be made by machine. For the very unusual bricks, a local ceramicist was recruited to work alongside Egernsund Wienerberger at the brickworks.
 
Thanks to the outstanding cooperation of all involved, Toldboden now looks just as it did when it was built in 1885. More than 500 special bricks have been painstakingly incorporated. “The façade now looks very uniform, and you can only tell in a very few cases that the bricks are new”, says architect Mathilde Rødbro with satisfaction. 

Formsten Toldboen i Thisted
© Egernsund Wienerberger A/S

Facts & Figures

Project name: Toldboden, Thisted, Denmark

Architecture   Rødbro & Frederiksen

Client   Sparekassen Thy

Year of completion   2019

Category   Roof and façade, public

Products used   Custom made

Formsten Toldboen i Thisted
© Egernsund Wienerberger A/S

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