York Handmade supplies 30,000 for new Central Library

A Yorkshire brickmaker has provided thousands of bricks for the new Central Library and Archive in Halifax.

artist impressions of the new Central Library and Archive in Halifax Picture: Calderdale Council

About 30,000 specially-manufactured bricks from York Handmade Brick Company will make up the walls of the new building.

Every single brick has been drawn by hand in the plans and sample walls have been built to make sure the bricks are exactly the right style, shape and colour to blend with the Grade I listed Piece Hall and the town’s other historical buildings. 

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York Handmade has been making bricks in York for over 70 years from local Triassic mudstone clay that has been used in the area for centuries. Its bricks have been used in The Shard in London and Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

David Armitage, the chairman of York Handmade, said: “The new Central Library and Archive means a great deal to us. We are very proud to be involved and this contract continues a special tradition.”

The chosen bricks all have an individual character, as some of York Handmade’s manufacturing process is manual. The mix of lighter and darker colours will ensure the new Central Library and Archive complements the sandstone of the Piece Hall.

The long shape of the bricks is similar to the ones used in many of Halifax’s traditional buildings. The new library is designed around the remains of the Square Church and some of the new bricks will be used inside, next to the exposed stone of the church walls.   

Coun Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s leader, said: “Paying full attention to detail makes all the difference to a completed building, and brickwork is an important part of the area’s built heritage.”