The 25 Year Long Battle Rages On
Twenty-five years ago Prince Charles stood before the Royal Institute of British Architects and denounced modernism in architecture. His first book “A Vision of Britain, a Personal View of Architecture” which was published in 1989, criticized and showed his distaste for anything modern. Throughout the 1990’s Prince Charles continued to campaign against modern architecture and was even dubbed “Architecture’s Royal Pain”. In February, 2005 he told architects and public health specialists that modern buildings are giving rise to ’sick building syndrome’. In February of 2008 he branded a modern university building where he was addressing a gathering of paratroopers as a “dustbin”. Over the past two and a half decades that this battle has been raging, Prince Charles has been and unrelenting and has clashed with the architects and the architectural community hundreds of times.
In the past year or so this battle has really been heating up, with real life consequences and retaliations taking place. In April, Charles went on the offensive against plans for a new development called the Chelsea Barracks, which would have been made up of mostly low rise buildings designed by Richard Rogers, a Pritzker Prize-winning architect for buildings such as the Pompidou Center in Paris and the Millennium Dome in London. Rogers’ designs are typically ultra-modern, and his new plans for the redevelopment of these former army barracks in West London would have represented this architectural style.