A Royal pain in the neck?

Monday 20 Apr 2009

Architects rally against Prince of Wales' criticism

The Prince of Wales has once again thrust himself into the architectural spotlight by adding his voice to opposition for the £1billion Chelsea Barracks scheme designed by Lord Rogers. Demanding that the design for the project, which will provide 552 homes, be scrapped, the Prince has added to a string of influential outbursts in the architectural profession which commenced in 1984. In a speech at Hampton Court he branded plans for a new wing of the National Gallery as a "monstrous carbuncle" and they were promptly dropped.

In February this year the Prince, who set up the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, commented on the slums of Mumbai saying they "provide a better model for housing a booming urban population in the developing world than Western Architecture".

Following this latest input from Prince Charles, 5 Pritzker prize winners: Jacques Herzog, Lord Foster, Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano and Frank Gehry and five others have signed their names in a letter to the UK's Sunday Times. The letter in part reads: “It is essential in a modern democracy that private comments and behind-the-scenes lobbying by the prince should not be used to skew the course of an open and democratic planning process that is currently under way.”

Prince Charles' opposition of the scheme is such that he had an alternative design developed. Both designs can be seen in the main image, Prince Charles' right, Rogers' left.

So which design do you prefer? Have your say in our WAN poll where you can also leave comments.

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