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Credit: Kalpesh Lathigra
Talks and lectures

"Pebbledash ain’t slapdash!" Textures from across the British counties

Get to know some of the UK’s lesser known traditional techniques, alongside learning something new about a selection of our most beloved façade finishes like roughcast, pebbledash, flint and mock-Tudor.

Do you know your roughcast from your pargetting? The UK is home to many traditional styles of textured building finishes, several of which are so widespread that their merit or significance goes unnoticed, while there are also some that you may have never heard of.

We might all "love to hate" pebbledash, which as one of the most ubiquitous of these styles can be found seemingly everywhere across the British Isles. Due to this excessive use, it has perhaps unfairly developed a reputation based on its worst examples, overlooking the fact it was used regularly on some of the most significant examples of modernist architecture in the UK by architects like C.F. A. Voysey and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Far less well known than pebbledash is pargetting, a decorative style of exterior plastering that is almost entirely unique to the counties of Essex and Suffolk and requires specially trained craftsmen.

Through a night filled with images from RIBA’s world class photography collections, we will trace the history and significance of some of these quirky and misunderstood traditional building techniques from across the UK, inviting everyone to think differently about the buildings we see every day.

Chaired by Gillian Darley OBE, writer, biographer and broadcaster on architecture and landscape.

More speakers to be announced.

This event is part of the Becontree Centenary, a partnership between Create London and RIBA, supported using public funding from Arts Council England, Art Fund and Span Trust.