Clay paver patterns make people look and think

Paver patterns can do a lot. They can make a patio look larger or smaller, they can draw your eye to a building or monument in the background, they can subliminally direct foot traffic through a crowded marketplace.

They can even look like a basket, to serve as a reminder of the cultural heritage of a people.


Founded in Knoxville, Tennessee  in 1975, the Beck Cultural Center is dedicated to the research, collection, conservation and exhibition of achievements of local African Americans. The various collections include photography, oral histories, biographical sketches, fine art, newspapers and books written by Knoxville authors.

Planners included a botanical garden and event space to support current and future programs at the Center. The pattern of the garden’s gathering area, made by different colors of Pine Hall Brick pavers, was inspired by an African tribal art basket crafted by the Makonde of Tanzania, Africa using native materials of their southeastern coastal region. Baskets like these are traditionally used as gifts among tribes and sold to traders in exchange for other merchandise.

The designers set out to create a warm and inviting courtyard that would serve not only the buildings four entrances on a daily basis but also serve as a gathering space for events. The Beck house is built of brick and the designers wanted the courtyard material to have the same warm qualities as the building. The broad range of colors available enabled a continuation of the building’s warm tones out into the landscape.

The courtyard, although obviously new, needed to immediately ‘belong’ with the existing, renovated building. It also needed to be fully accessible and natural looking. The clay brick – and the pattern – were indeed a good fit.

To learn more about paver patterns, please visit here

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