The Brick Development Association's annual Brick Awards showcase excellence in the use of brick, whether by architects, designers, engineers or brickwork contractors.
They also reveal brick's ability to satisfy aesthetic, structural, thermal, acoustic, landscape, craft, prefabrication and sustainability criteria. To get a sense of some of these qualities, take a look at the extraordinary textural and sculptural effects achieved at Rick Mather's Sloane Robinson building on page five. Or the kind of fun Piers Gough has with Fulham Island on page nine. And for a humorous appreciation of brick's versatility, turn to page 14.

This year's awards are bigger and better than ever before. Poring over more than 200 hopeful entries for a record 14 categories, the judges found their job was frequently a surprise and often a delight. The following pages convey some of these qualities.