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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: 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
5-6 March 2003

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]

Talk on clinker at Veretec 2022
The History of Construction, Veretec

Talks at Veretec


Thomas Deckker was appointed Senior Architect at Veretec, a multiple award winning executive architectural practice, in 2021. Following the commission to execute the renovation of a the Army and Navy Warehouse in Greycoat Place, London SW1, originally designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, Thomas Deckker was asked to present some talks on the history of construction. These talks expanded to include his special subject, Brasilia.

Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand: Recueil et parallèle des édifices de tout genre (Paris 1800)
Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand: Recueil et parallèle des édifices de tout genre
Paris 1800

Iron and Clinker

Modern building construction sprang from 2 sources: on the practical side, mill buildings - a combination of heavy masonry walls, cast iron columns, wrought iron beams, and masonry jack arches, that developed in textile mills mainly in the Derwent Valley in England, and the theoretical abstractions of Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand, head of the École Polytechnique in Paris. In Précis des leçons d'Architecture données à l'École Polytechnique (Paris 1800), Durand was the first architect to design using a combination of structural and planning grids, and illustrated designs for buildings as combinations of functional units in both plan and elevation. These 2 strands were exemplified in the work of Henri Labrouste and Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Labrouste can be considered the first modern architect in France, superseding architects like Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Schinkel was brought up with the rationality of Durand but sent as a spy to England in 1826 to record mill buildings for future use in the industrialising Prussian state.

Wallace K. Harrison & J. Andre Fouilhoux / Henry Dreyfuss: Democracity, New York Worlds Fair 1939
Wallace K. Harrison & J. Andre Fouilhoux / Henry Dreyfuss: Democracity
New York Worlds Fair 1939


This talk was based on the latest research into Brasilia, which showed its allegiance to political and architectural ideals stemming from the New Deal in the United States in the preceding 2 decades.

Flavian Amphitheatre, Rome (70-80 AD) photo © Thomas Deckker 1984
Flavian Amphitheatre, Rome (70-80 AD)
photo © Thomas Deckker 1984

Concrete and Stone

The development of waterproof concrete in Imperial Rome allowed architects to make buildings of exceptional size and spatial complexity. The knowledge of making pozzolano concrete died out with the fall of Rome, never to be revived. During the phases which, by leaps and bounds, architecture was reborn in Europe - the Carolingian Renaissance of the 800s and the development of Norman Romanesque in the 1000s, masons at first tried to reproduce the forms of Roman buildings in stone but later, in the flowering of Gothic around 1200, finally broke free from this aesthetic preference and created more structurally appropriate forms. When architects replaced masons in the Italian Renaissance of the 1400s, and returned to Roman aesthetics, the cutting of stone passed from a vernacular practice to the science of stereotomy. Stereotomy gave architects the mathematical tools for integrating buildings and landscape, exemplified by the military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban.

Edzell Castle, Angus
The Garden of Edzell Castle
photograph © Thomas Deckker 2014


Thomas Deckker presented a talk on Edzell Castle, based on an article he had published in the Journal of the Garden History Society. The renaissance garden at Edzell was a witness to, and emblem of, the cultural changes in Scotland in the late 16th century:
David Lindsay's garden at Edzell Castle was part of a larger enterprise of novel and sophisticated ideas - on architecture, gardening, cooking, hygiene and even mining - that transformed Scottish culture at the end of the sixteenth century. Scottish nobles looked, for a cultural model, to their peers in France, especially the Loire Valley and the Île-de-France, where a distinctively French culture had emerged among a new class of educated nobles, courtiers and administrators earlier in the century; they mixed a progressive development of the arts of civilisation with symbolic forms derived from the feudal past, to emphasise their - in many cases mythical - lineage.