BreezyBlock Rocks

Palm Springs-based company hits market with eight new MCM screen block designs
Fridays on the Homefront
Screen block has been making a comeback in recent years—and BreezyBlock's new line of block designs has arrived just in time to ride the current wave. Above: Glamour queen Marilyn Monroe, seen here at a Palm Springs MCM back in the day, shows off some original screen block.

Conjuring futuristic visions of Tomorrowland and beyond, the enterprising California-based BreezyBlock company has released Oculus, Circulus, and Elliptus, Space Age handles for three of the company's eight new screen-block designs aimed at the mid-century modern market.

Perforated concrete block—a decorative sunshade also known as screen block, breeze block, or 'brise soleil'—has been making a terrific comeback in recent years, and BreezyBlock's new line is geared to ride that wave and make an impact.

No doubt about it—breeze block rocks!

Agreeing with that sentiment, many MCM residences in the BreezyBlock hometown of Palm Springs prominently and proudly showcase their screen block, inside and out; and two new books, with the desert hotbed at their core, were published during the past three years on block history and its many designs.

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BreezyBlock's new Oculus pattern. All pattern photos courtesy ModFab.
 

Traditionally screen block, typically manufactured in 12-inch by 12-inch by 4-inch dimensions, has been a classy and effective way to add a classic mid-century touch to an MCM home, whether it's for building a carport, designing a garden room, adding an accent or focal point in an outdoor landscape, or installing a decorative divider.

"Our screen-block designs are like nothing else out there," says BreezyBlock's Doug Griffith, "and are complementary to the mid-century modern aesthetic."

"One design looks like the Moon with crater holes," adds Griffith's partner, Joe Tatar. "And there's another that looks like a terracotta for more of a sophisticated modern vibe."

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BreezyBlock's new Circulus pattern.
 

Tatar and Griffith are the driving forces behind ModFab Group LLC, which has been manufacturing mid-century-style products for 30 years, with one-of-a-kind products, custom commissions, and even collaborations with artists such as Shag and Paul Frank.

Griffith's background, in industrial design and engineering, includes his creation of high-end projects for Disney Imagineering and Boeing. While working as an art director for Image Comics in the 1990s, he developed an eye for mid-century style.

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BreezyBlock's new Brutus pattern.