Prince Charles at the RIBA Annual Lecture in 2009.Source: Robert Leslie/RIBA
Work with the Foundation for the Built Environment not about style, HRH insists
The Prince of Wales has taken a sideswipe at those criticising his involvement in architecture and has suggested that the advent of localism will see his foundation’s work copied.
Speaking at the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment today, he said he was riled by the suggestion that he had established it to promote classical architecture.
“I think a lot of people think the only reason I set up the foundation is because I have an obsession with classical architecture,” he said. “That drives me insane. It is very easy to accuse people of that but at the end of the day, architecture matters.”
He added that one of the more notable merits of his Poundbury housing development in Dorset was its mixed-tenure nature, with visitors unable to tell where the wealthy and less wealthy lived within it.
The prince repeated his claim that recent decades had witnessed humankind embarking on a “gigantic experiment” with nature and society, arguing that nature and timeless ways of living should be respected.
He said the foundation’s “enquiry by design” system of collaborative planning allowed people to “vote with their feet” and choose types of development they were instinctively comfortable with.
The prince said he said he was “enormously proud” of the foundation and its chief executive Hank Dittmar and concluded by predicting that localism would see organisations springing up which would ape its work.
“Just beware,” he said. “They will be trying to give you a cheapo version of what we have been trying to develop for 20 years to a chorus of abuse.”
The prince was speaking at the Shoreditch-based headquarters of the foundation at the launch of a new framework on consulting communities over planning matters.
This aims to see experts working more closely with local people to ensure development is appropriate and sustainable.
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