YORK HANDMADE PROVIDES 30,000 BRICKS FOR NEW CHAPTER IN HALIFAX LIBRARY'S STORY
The award-winning York
Handmade Brick Company has provided 30,000 bricks for the new multi-million
Central Library and Archives in Halifax, which officially opened on Saturday (September 9).
specially-manufactured bricks make up the walls of the new building.
Every single brick was
drawn by hand to ensure the bricks were exactly the right style, shape and
colour to blend with the adjacent Grade I listed Piece Hall and the town’s many
Calderdale Council and
LDN Architects selected bricks by the York Handmade of Alne, near
Easingwold, to ensure an attractive, high-quality façade.
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. The company’s bricks have been used in
a range of prestigious locations, including The Shard in London and Chetham’s
School of Music in Manchester.
David Armitage, the
chairman of York Handmade, said: “My family has been making bricks in Yorkshire
for more than a century, so the new Central Library and Archives in Halifax
means a great deal to us. We are very proud to be involved and this contract
continues a special tradition.
“It was a privilege to
be invited to the official opening of the new library, which is simply
magnificent. When libraries are closing all over the country, it is
heart-warming to see the town of Halifax opening a new one. There’s no doubt
this library will be a great asset to the community.
“We have taken great
care to ensure that the mix of lighter and darker colours is unique to this
project so the new Central Library and Archives complements the sandstone that
makes up most of the Piece Hall. The long shape of our bricks is similar to the
ones used in many of Halifax’s traditional buildings,” said Mr Armitage.
The new library is
designed around the remains of the Square Church and some of the new bricks
have been used inside, next to the exposed stone of the church walls.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale
Council’s Leader, said: “We are delighted that our new Central Library and
Archives is now open for people to enjoy. This is the next stage of the
remarkable transformation of Halifax town centre - the new library next to the
Piece Hall, Square Chapel, Calderdale Industrial Museum and Orangebox young
people’s centre adds to the vibrant cultural, heritage and learning quarter.
“The library is a
stunning blend of old and new, conserving the landmark spire and rose window of
the Square Church in a 21st century building with state-of-the-art facilities.
The unique bricks are one example of the care and attention to detail which
have gone into the project – and the result is a truly striking building.”
The official opening of
the new Central Library and Archives was marked with a range of free family
activities and a plaque was unveiled by leading architectural historian, writer
and TV broadcaster, Dr Jonathan Foyle, in the presence of the Mayor of
Calderdale, Cllr Ferman Ali.