York Handmade shortlisted for major award at brick Oscars with £200k contract

The York Handmade Brick Company has been shortlisted for a second major award in the prestigious 2019 Brick Awards.

Independent brickmaker York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, has been recognised for its work on the acclaimed new Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre at Perse School in Cambridge.

The project has been shortlisted in the Education category.

York Handmade has already been shortlisted for its Loxley Stables project in Hertfordshire in the Small Housing Development category.

The Brick Awards, which are organised by the Brick Development Association and are regarded as the Oscars of the brick industry, will be held at a glittering ceremony in central London on Wednesday November 13.

York Handmade Chairman David Armitage said: “We were very proud to receive recognition for our work on both the Arts Centre at Perse School and Loxley Stables and to know that we have made it on to highly competitive shortlists.

“We have an excellent history in the Brick Awards. We first won an award in 1995 with the Supreme Brick Building award for St Brigid’s Church in Belfast. We haven’t looked back since then, holding our own against our bigger and better-known competitors”.

York Handmade provided 200,000 bricks for the Performing Arts Centre complete, which comprises a 370-seat auditorium, rehearsal and exhibition spaces and a pupil café. The contract was worth £200,000.

Mr Armitage explained: “We are now establishing a strong reputation in the education sector. Apart from Perse, we have provided a substantial number of bricks for quality projects at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, Pocklington School near York and Highgate School in London.

Jessica Daly of London-based architects Haworth Tompkins, who designed the new Performing Arts Centre for Perse, commented: “The Perse School has an extensive programme of music and drama activities which had outgrown its previous facilities. The Performing Arts Centre is named after Peter Hall, who was a pupil at the school from 1941-1949. He went on to be the director of the National Theatre

“As with much of our theatre work, and particularly for the resilience required of a school, materials have been chosen for their durability and capacity to mature and change over time. The warm, robust palette of hand-made bricks, precast concrete and timber structure was selected with this in mind.

“This brick clad structure is an exciting example of brick at its best. The light grey brick complements the site perfectly and also includes some matching paving on part of the front.

“York Handmade were able to closely match the brick we had previously chosen, creating a new colour blend especially for the project. The company were helpful on both meeting our visual design requirement and providing technical assistance, going above and beyond our expectations.

“Working with an independent company, making their own handmade bricks, was invaluable as bricks were to be used in multiple scenarios, including internal and external walls, internal and external paving along with numerous brick specials.

“We were very pleased with the end result, the bricks are very high quality, and have proven to be an important architectural feature of the building.  The Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre has won several awards including a RIBA National Award.  In the Judge’s Citation, they said that carefully selected brick walls, extending into a brick herring bone ground floor, continued the humane glow of natural materials,” she said.

Mr Armitage added: “We worked closely with Modular Clay Products on this project and their input and co-operation was invaluable.”