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Last updateThu, 14 May 2020 1pm

York Handmade plays pivotal role in new art and design technology centre

The award-winning York Handmade Brick Company has played a pivotal role in the creation of the new Art and Design Technology Centre at Pocklington School, near York.

York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, supplied 31,000 bricks for the exterior of the new £3.25 million building, together with 4,300 terracotta tiles for the interior floor.

The contract is worth £78,000 for York Handmade, one of the leading independent brickmakers in the UK.

Guy Armitage, Managing Director of York Handmade, commented: “It was a tremendous honour to be asked to provide our bricks and tiles for such a prestigious project. Pocklington School has a long and proud artistic heritage and this stunning new building reflects this. 

“Our increasingly popular linear Maxima Galtres bricks have been used on the building’s exterior, complementing the contemporary design and fitting in with the School’s architecture and landscape. 

“We were commissioned by York architect Simon Mitchell, who has used our products on several projects before, to create a bespoke design of our Onda terracotta tiles, which have been used on 210 sq metres of internal flooring.

“The design of the tiles is based on a 330mm diameter circle with two sides inverted to create an interlocking ‘wave’ type pattern, all in the natural looking material of York Handmade terracotta made from our own local Vale of York clay,” explained Mr Armitage.

Simon Mitchell commented: “I am exceptionally pleased with the contribution made by York Handmade to Pocklington School’s new Art and Design Technology Centre. The exterior, with its every altering facades, is just as I imagined, with the handmade bricks effortlessly combining a sense of heritage with a cutting edge look.  

“It is a joy working with a company like York Handmade. They are focussed and flexible, understanding exactly what a customer needs, and skilled enough to provide exactly what is wanted. They have helped to create a magnificent building, which should inspire everyone who works within it.

“I have worked with YHMB since 1989. Founder David Armitage assisted me with a Grade 2* renovation and adjacent new build, courtyard and landscaping. It won a Civic Trust commendation. 

“The business, making quality products then, has over the decades and via a second generation of management has developed and grown into the remarkable business it is today. It serves the industry like no other maker in the country. 

“For those of us determined to design and produce using the ultimate in quality, both in material and in innovation (their range expanding yearly) they’re there to discuss exacting specifications, for each and every project. Their assistance, I find, is invaluable. 

“A single brick, it’s unique and it’s beautiful. En-masse one is assured of the perfect exterior. Contemporary design using traditional materials cannot be bettered,” he added.

Mark Ronan, Headmaster, Pocklington School said: “Our new Art and Design Technology Centre has been very well received and the York Handmade bricks we have used for the exterior fit perfectly within the School’s campus.  The floor tiles provide a striking feature within the building itself and we are enjoying teaching in there, inspiring pupils to develop their own creative skills.”

The original 1969 Art and Design Centre was a pre-fabricated single-storey structure and, although much-loved and a hive of creativity, was failing and had become out of keeping with the rest of the school campus; the exciting new department has been constructed on the site of the previous building. George Houlton of Hull were the main contractors for the project.

Mr Ronan added: “The project was the focus of a major campaign by the school to raise funds to build the new Centre in support of the school’s strategic development plan.  Designed to inspire the pursuit of traditional arts and crafts, plus provide cutting edge facilities for digital imaging, editing, animation and computer-aided design and manufacturing technology, the new centre greatly enhances the pupils’ experience.”

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