RIBA Prince Charles Lecture, Guardian Newspaper, Letter, Date, Debate, Speech, Peter Ahrends

RIBA Prince of Wales Speech

Boycott led by Peter Ahrends Architect, England, UK Architecture Lecture Information

12 May 2009

RIBA Prince Charles Speech

e-architect Editor Adrian Welch talked briefly with Peter Ahrends ahead of tonight’s lecture by Prince Charles at the RIBA in London:

Peter Ahrends summarised the position thus, “It is not a personal matter, not a matter of architectural style or idiom on my part. It is entirely a matter of guarding the democratic aspect of the planning application procedures.

Prince Charles’ intervention in relation to the Chelsea Barracks scheme shows all the signs of an attempt to influence the direction in which the scheme should go that would be against normal planning procedures”.

Prince of Wales RIBA Speech : in full – posted 12 May 2009

Summary of the Speech:

Offering olive branch to RIBA, clarifying stance in past to supportive of traditional architecture within pluralistic whole. Compared ‘Modern Architecture’ experiment to the ‘Free Market’ experiment in western economies over the last decade.

Highpoint: praised Chipperfield’s Neues Museum redevelopment in Berlin

The speech received a long round of applause punctuated by a journalist from the magazine Blueprint shouting “down with the monarchy”.

Peter Ahrends calls for boycott of the Prince of Wales’s lecture at RIBA

This follows Prince Charles’ Chelsea Barracks intervention and follows a public letter to the Prince of Wales from a list of famous architects and key figures involved in architecture on 20 Apr 2009, and also an attack on 1 May from Paul Finch.

Peter Ahrends’ practice – Ahrends Burton Koralek (ABK) – suffered badly when their National Gallery Extension design was notoriously attacked by Prince Charles. In its place we got the much less ‘contemporary’ design by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (although it certainly wasn’t traditional neo-classicism the heir to the throne essentially got his way).

ABK’s National Gallery Extension proposal (competition entry) was described as a ‘monstrous carbuncle’ when the Prince spoke at the RIBA 25 years ago. He has never been invited back until now.

Peter Ahrends’ boycott aims to tackle Prince Charles’ undemocratic intervention in the British planning process. He has tried to get the Chelsea Barrack’s developers to revert to more traditional architecture designs by his old favourite Quinlan Terry.

Lecture date : 12 May 2009
Venue : RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

Chelsea Barracks London

RIBA Prince of Wales Lecture Boycott Letter to The Guardian:

The Guardian, Saturday 9 May 2009
“In the mid-1980s, Prince Charles publicly trashed several works of modern architecture, both built and unbuilt. In doing so he used his influential royal position by intervening in the democratic process of planning applications securing, for instance, the secretary of state’s rejection of the design for the National Gallery extension.

Twenty-five years have passed. At the end of March, the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects announced that Prince Charles is to deliver the RIBA Trust’s annual lecture on the 12 May. Within a week, the press reported that Prince Charles had re-established his mid-80s technique of seeking to oust modern architecture in favour of his preferred style of architecture, dismissing the Rogers Stirk Harbour design for the former Chelsea Barracks in favour of a published neoclassical design (The view from Highgrove, G2, 23 April).

The prince’s latest move displays the destructive signs of his earlier interventions, when he set out to scupper modern architecture. This intervention must now be resisted by the profession; not because of the question of architectural style, but because his actions again threaten an important element of our democratic process. To all architects who value these democratic procedures, we advocate a boycott of the Prince’s lecture at the RIBA on the 12 May.”

Prince of Wales Lecture Boycott Letter – Signatories

Peter Ahrends
Will Alsop
Ted Cullinan
Paul Finch
Tony Fretton
Piers Gough
MJ Long
Ian Ritchie
Chris Wilkinson

Comments welcome for publication : info(at)e-architect.com

RIBA Prince of Wales Lecture – Links

ABK Architects

RIBA London : Building

Chelsea Barracks

Letter to Prince Charles

20 Apr 2009
Public letter to Prince Charles from list of famous architects and key figures involved in architecture: Chelsea Barracks Letter

National Gallery London
National Gallery London
photograph © Adrian Welch

Location: 66 Portland Place, London, UK

Architecture in London

London Architecture Links – chronological list

London Architecture

London Architecture Walking Tours

London Architect

Quinlan Terry – traditional English architect

One Hyde Park

Prince of Wales Foundation for the Built Environment

Angela Brady – RIBA President

Taj Crowne Plaza London St James, 51 Buckingham Gate
Design: Broadway Malyan
Taj Crowne Plaza London
image from architects
Taj Crowne Plaza London St James

New London Architecture Centre exhibition

English Architecture

Comments / photos for the RIBA Prince of Wales Lecture page welcome