The award-winning York Handmade Brick Company has completed one of the largest and most prestigious contracts in its 36-year history.

York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, has supplied 300,000 specially manufactured bricks for a stunning state-of-the-art 16-storey apartment building at the rear of Kings Cross Station in central London.
The significant contract was worth £150,000 to York Handmade, one of the leading independent brickmakers in the country.

This residential development, called Cadence, is only one mile from the City of London and comprises 103 quality one, two and three-bed apartments. All have been sold.

Alison Brooks of London-based Alison Brooks Architects, who designed Cadence, praised York Handmade for “the colour, texture and format of the bricks” adding “we couldn’t have asked for a better union of architectural concept and façade material.”

David Armitage, chairman of York Handmade, commented: “We are both proud and humbled to have played such a pivotal role in the appearance and construction of one of London’s most important recent residential developments. This is a flagship project which has reshaped the skyscape of the Kings Cross area.

“We are also honoured that our bricks have been recognized as integral to the design of Cadence. This stunning building is a tremendous example of the beauty and versatility of brick, which remains the building material of choice for many forward-thinking architects and developers.

He added: “The skill of the design, combined with the art of the hand-thrown brick and the vibrant colour brickwork on the 16-storey masonry reaching up into the sky, high above London, make this a unique job.”

Alison Brooks explained that brick was central to this development, saying: “We were looking for a brick to achieve our design intention of a monolithic, sculptural building form expressed in a vibrant orange-red hue, like the colour of nearby St. Pancras Station. We were also looking for a long-format brick, like the long bricks of ancient Roman buildings. We were delighted to find the York Handmade bricks that fulfilled all three of these criteria.

“We found York Handmade’s response time to our queries was very quick and always helpful. We understand the relationship was very good between York Handmade and the main contractor Laing O’Ruorke, who with Vetter, cut and laid all the facade brickwork as a prefabricated system.

“York Handmade’s bricks have become the emblem of our exuberant King’s Cross landmark tower. It’s wonderful to see the colour of the brick change at different times of day, from a vibrant orange to a soft ochre. The radiant arches make everyone smile.”

David Armitage added: “In a wider context, the completion of this stunning development marks over a decade of York Handmade Brick’s involvement in reshaping the look of England’s capital city. During the past 14 years we have provided the bricks for some of London’s most stunning new buildings.
“Apart from Cadence, we have successfully completed commissions for Lancer Square, an iconic multi-million pound mixed-used development close to Kensington Place, the iconic Shard, London Bridge Station, London Bridge Place, Highgate School, Carmelite House on the Victoria Embankment, the redeveloped Highbury Stadium and One Molyneux Street in Marylebone.

“We are extremely proud to have played a key role in the reshaping of modern London over the past 10 years. It is wonderful to have a little bit of Yorkshire in the heart of the capital. These high-profile, award-winning commissions we have completed in London have led to new prestigious projects this year in Mayfair and elsewhere in the capital, which will further strengthen our position as the independent brick supplier of choice for London architects and developers”.

He added: “It is an honour to be part of a rich tradition in London, where brick continues to be in material that helps both residential and commercial buildings to bridge the divide between the traditional and the contemporary, as well as giving them a unique and individual look”.