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The award-winning York Handmade Brick Company has played an important role in the creation of a stunning new airfield control tower at Brackley in Buckinghamshire.
York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, supplied 100,000 specially-made bricks for the hexagonal control tower at Turweston Airfield.
The contract is worth £130,000 for York Handmade, one of the leading independent brickmakers in the UK.
York Handmade were approached by David Owen, owner of Turweston Airfield, after Mr Owen had seen York Handmade’s impressive Maxima bricks at the base of the iconic Shard building in London.
David Armitage, chairman of York Handmade, commented: “It was a tremendous honour to be asked to provide so many bricks for such a prestigious project. The new control tower at Turweston is an exceptional building, utterly at home in its surroundings.
“Our long thin Maxima bricks, which are becoming increasingly popular, provide a distinctive and sensitive look. It was crucial we got this look right, otherwise the new tower would have looked utterly out of place in its distinctive airfield environment.
“It was especially pleasing that our bricks at the Shard, of which we are very proud, led to this prestigious order. It is often forgotten that the Shard is not just made of glass! The bricks there are a great advertisement for our work, right in the heart of London,” said Mr Armitage.
David Owen explained: “In selecting bricks for this important project, I was looking for a buff colour.  In my search I looked at several new buildings and when I saw the Shard base, I felt it was as close as I was likely to get to what I wanted.

“Initially I was under the impression that the bricks were imported, so when I found they were made in England, that was a bonus. I was also worried about batch variation and particularly the making of specials, as we were building a hexagonal building and wanted to recess the windows and doorways. I also wanted the long, narrow Roman-style brick,” explained Mr Owen.

“I was very pleased to discover, when I contacted Ted Ward, York Handmade’s area agent, and subsequently visited York Handmade at their headquarters, they were able to provide exactly what I wanted. I did look at other manufacturers but most were not interested in specially-made bricks; they were just maximising volume.”

The new control tower, which also comprises offices, a flying school and a café, was designed a hexagonal building to reflect the triangle of land lying within the three original Second World War runways at Turweston.

David Owen added: “We couldn’t have been happier with the results and the process couldn’t have been easier. The building has been extremely well-received and the level of our business has increased. Thank goodness for well-run family businesses like York Handmade”.

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York Handmade Brick has excellent credentials in supplying bricks to high quality self build homes. Choosing the correct cladding for your property is vital to achieving the appearance for the house that you have in mind. By using a genuine York Handmade brick you can ensure the building has all the charm and character of traditional buildings of the past. Our Maxima Range of long bricks are in strong demand for self builds of a more contemporary design.
York Handmade Brick have the capability to either replicate or make to design bricks of all shapes and sizes in a variety of colours and textures to match or create the product required. We are fortunate enough to have manufactured bricks for several award winning heritage projects conserving the glory of the buildings for generations to come.
Our Maxima range or long format bricks have been in great demand in commercial and public type buildings. We can make these bricks to the architects specification in terms of size, colour, texture and shape as we have in the jobs shown in this gallery.