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Talk on clinker at Veretec 2022
Talks at Veretec

Postcard, Brasilia, date unknown c. 1960s
BBC: The Inquiry
BBC World Service 2019

Itapoã, DF Brazil photograph © Joana França 2011
Brasília: Life Beyond Utopia
Brazil Institute, Kings College London 2016

Brasilia, DF Brazil photograph © Joana França 2011
Brasília: Life Beyond Utopia
Architectural Design [April 2016]

McAslan Gallery: Emerging Architects
Two exhibitions for the McAslan Gallery
McAslan Gallery 2016

Edzell Castle, Angus
Edzell Castle: Architectural Treatises in Late 16th Century Scotland
Garden History Society 2014

Architecture and the Humanities
Architectural Research Quarterly 2014

Rio: Canal do Mangue Postcard
Urban Planning in Rio 1870-1930: the Construction of Modernity
Brazil Institute, Kings College London 2014

London Tower Block
Review of Remaking London: Design and Regeneration in Urban Culture
Architectural Research Quarterly 2013

Oscar Niemeyer: House in Canoas, Rio de Janeiro
Life's a Beach: Oscar Niemeyer, Landscape and Women
The Rest is Noise Festival
South Bank, London 6 October 2013

Brasilia Tres Poderes
BBC: Last Word
BBC Radio 4 7 & 9 December 2012

Brasilia Tres Poderes
Brasilia: Fictions and Illusions
Brazil Institute, Kings College London 2012

Nolli Plan of Rome
Connected Communities Symposium
University of Dundee 2011

Arup: White Building, St John's College Oxford
Architecture + ESI: an architect's perspective
FESI [The UK Forum for Engineering Structural Integrity] 2011

Booth Poverty Map of London
Review of Mapping London
Architectural Research Quarterly 2010

RIAS: landworkers exhibition
Dundee Contemporary Arts
14-28 May 2009

Antonio Carlos Elias: Epulis Fissuratum
The Studio of Antonio Carlos Elias
Epulis Fissuratum [Brasília 2006]

Thomas Deckker: superquadra penthouse project
Superquadra Penthouse Project
Penthouse Living
[Wiley 2005]

Arquivo Brasilia
Arquivo Brasília
Sala Martins Penna
Teatro Nacional Cláudio Santoro
19-20 April 2005

Revisiting Brazil: View of Exhibition
Revisiting Brazil
RIBA Gallery 2
9-30 October 2003

Houston Car Park
Urban Entropies: A Tale of Three Cities
Architectural Design [September 2003]

Guedes Apartment, São Paulo
New Architecture in Brazil - Photographs by Michael Frantzis
Brazilian Embassy, London
5 March 2003
➲ Introductory Text
➲ Photographs and texts
➲ Installation Photographs

Joaquim Gudes: Kerti House, São Paulo
Natural Spirit (Places to Live 007)
Wallpaper* [January/February 2003]

Wallpaper*: Architects Directory
Architects Directory
Wallpaper* [July/August 2002]

RIBA Journal: Foreign Legion
Foreign Legion
RIBA Journal [March 2002]

Le Corbusier: Heidi Weber Pavilion, Zurich photograph © Thomas Deckker 1996
Architects and Technology
The Encyclopaedia of Architectural Technology [London: Wiley 2002]

Mission Concepcion (1755) San Antonio, Texas
Mexican-American Architecture
Mexican-American Encyclopaedia [2002]

W3 Brasilia 1960s Archive Photograph
Canberra / Brasília
Canberra Contemporary Art Space [Canberra: CASC 2001]

Oscar Niemeyer: Congresso Naçional Brasília
In the Realm of the Senses
Architectural Design [July 2001]

Thomas Deckker: Magalhães House
Thomas Deckker: Two Projects in Brasília
Architectural Design [Oct 2000]

Degree Unit G: Mexico 1997-98
First International Seminar on the Teaching of the Built Environment [SIEPAC]
University of São Paulo, Brazil
13-15 Sept 2000

Thomas Deckker: The Modern City Revisited
The Modern City Revisited
[London: Routledge 2000]

Thomas Deckker (editor): Issues in Architecture Art & Design
Issues in Architecture Art & Design
vol. 6 no. 1 [University of East London 2000]

Luigi Snozzi: Monte Carasso, Bellinzona photograph © Thomas Deckker 1982
The re-invention of the site
Relating Landscape to Architecture
[London: Routledge 1999]

The Modern City Revisted Conference
The Modern City Revisited
University of East London
27/28 Mar 1999

Luigi Snozzi: Kalman House, Locarno photograph © Thomas Deckker 1982
Monte Carasso: The re-invention of the site
Issues in Architecture Art & Design vol. 5 no. 2 [University of East London 1998]

Donald Judd: Chinati Foundation, Texas
Specific Objects / Specific Sites
Rethinking the Architecture / Landscape Relationship, University of East London,
26-28 Mar 1996

Herzog & deMeuron: Hebelstrasse Apartments, Basle
Herzog & deMeuron
Issues in Architecture Art & Design vol. 3 no. 2 [University of East London 1994]

Guedes Apartment, São Paulo
Guedes Apartment, São Paulo
photograph © Michael Frantzis 2003

New Architecture in Brazil - Photographs by Michael Frantzis
Brazilian Embassy, London
5 March 2003

Click here for photographs and texts.

Click here for installation photographs.

The concept was derived from research undertaken by Thomas Deckker during the First International Seminar on the Teaching of the Built Environment [SIEPAC] at the University of São Paulo in 2000.

New Architecture in Brazil - Photographs by Michael Frantzis

Architecture in São Paulo never adhered to the 'Brazilian Style', the Brazilian appropriation of European Modernism of Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer in Rio de Janeiro so strongly identified with Getúio Vargas, with the Estado Novo, and with Juscelino Kubitschek. If it did not share in the glory of its international success in the 1940s and 1950s, neither did it share in its total collapse in the 1960s. On the contrary, the demise of the International Style and the insurrection of Team X in Europe - Aldo van Eyck, Giancarlo de Carlo, Alison & Peter Smithson, Jakob Bakema - found full correspondence with the main practitioners in São Paulo - Lina Bo Bardi (1914-92), architect of the Museum of Art of São Paulo (1957-68) and the SESC-Pompéia [Pompéia Cultural Centre] (1977) and João Vilanova Artigas (1915-1985), architect and Professor of the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo [Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo] (1961). Their emphasis on 'place' not 'space' led to a reconciliation with the urban fabric to which the International Style was ideologically and aesthetically opposed.

Since the beginning of the 20th century the population of São Paulo has grown from 200,000 to 16,000,000. It has become an orthodoxy in planning studies that the resulting problems are intractable and insoluble. The separate physical spaces of the upper and lower classes, in particular, is felt to reflect their different political spaces. Such attitudes have been thrown into doubt by the success of architecture in providing a conduit for urban regeneration, from the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 1978 to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in 2001. While Brazil was late in confronting the issues raised by the massive increase in urban population, mainly due to the military dictatorship from 1964 to 1984, there has been, since the return to democracy, an increasing drive to catch up.

The critical test of urban regeneration is, of course, to provide any necessary improvements without suffocating the vitality and variety of urban life. The area of the centre of São Paulo from Anhangabaú to the Estação da Luz, the bairro de Santa Ifigênia, is one of the most complex and heterogeneous in the city, a mixture of historical buildings, offices, middle class apartments and cortiços [urban slums] at phenomenal densities. The recovery of a group of buildings there - the Teatro Municipal, the Estação da Luz, the Estação Julio Prestes and the Pinacoteca do Estado, to name only the most prominent - is more than just a re-establishment of architecture: it is a recovery of historical and political space.

While the work of the outstanding architects of the post-war period - Bardi in particular - has become quite well known outside Brazil, the work of the later generations is so little known that it is a common assumption that there is currently a total vacuum in architectural production in Brazil. It is interesting to trace the work of one architect, Joaquim Guedes (b. 1932), from the 1970s, with his preoccupation with Team X and the later work of Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto, to his most recent work rooted in the abstractions of site and the reticence of form strongly identified with 'critical regionalism' but, more rewardingly, with the specifics of place and light. Much of his work is in the Jardims [Gardens] originally laid out by the English Garden City architects Barry Parker & Raymond Unwin but now, with much alteration and expansion, the prime residential district of the centre of São Paulo. My own rather surprising commission for the Magalhæs House in Brasília was an attempt to redress the dismal void in architecture there since the original plan of Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer from 1957 to 1960.

These photographs by Michael Frantzis ask us to look at recent work in Brazil not only as serious architectural objects but as ones rooted in their urban context. The intensity of his vision and the technical perfection of their execution begs us to consider these works as fully the equal of any in Europe.
Thomas Deckker
London 2003