Richard Rogers has challenged Prince Charles to engage in the public debate in the Britain of the built environment, after having declared that he knows of five developers, who privately consulted him about the choice of architects because they fear the opposition.
The Work of peer and designer of the Centre Pompidou reopened the boil-line above-the heir to the throne, interventions in architecture, claiming in a new book, the developers consulted the palace â€œto check what would be acceptableâ€. Rogers believes Charles should keep out of the subject, unless he is willing to engage in open argument.
He told the Guardian he would be willing to discuss with Charles directly, but has said that it is most important that the prince undertakes to justify his actions in public. In the last three decades, Charles private interventions are believed to have influenced the choice of architects, the National Gallery, the extension, the rebuilding of Paternoster Square, beside St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Opera House.
â€œWe know what he thinks, but the question is: what rights you have if not a debate,â€ Rogers said. â€œThere are certain politicians I don’t like, but the debate. The problem is that it is always behind closed doors. He does not respond.â€
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In his new book of memoirs, A Place for All People, Rogers writes: â€œI do not believe that the Prince of Wales understands the architecture. Think that is fixed in a point of the past (for him, the classic, a bizarre choice, as it is not a style that has deep roots in England), rather than an evolving language of technology and materials. But if he is not going to participate in the debate, no matter if his opinions are right or wrong. He occupies a privileged position, and he should not use that to damage the livelihoods of people are not in agreement.â€
A spokesman for the prince insisted Friday: â€œthe Developers did not seek the approval of The Prince of Wales for architects and designers that you may wish to use, directly or indirectly.â€
He added: â€œThe Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, an independent charity founded by the Prince, however, is often approached for advice and works with the local authorities for sustainable development, built around people.â€
Rogers believes that this charity is instrumental to Charlesâ€™ influence. It is widely seen as an attempt to promote the architecture and urban planning in line with the Prince’s vision.
â€œSome [developers] don’t see Charles,â€ said Rogers. â€œIt’s very accurate â€“ the fact is that he is an institution, the foundation-and some of them go and see the head of the foundationâ€.
Rogers has counted the cost to its practice of the prince’s interventions more than once. In 2009, when Charles the contrary, Rogersâ€™ modernist plans for hundreds of homes in the first Chelsea Barracks site, has written to the Prime Minister of Qatar, who owned the land, complaining that it was â€œunsuitableâ€. The Qatari developer sacked Rogers and replaced it with other, more traditional, companies followed the guide to the foundation of the prince.
The Guardian has also previously revealed how Charles has written to the developer of the â‚¬ 500m development over the St Paul’s Cathedral to make an obvious choice of architect, the French star Jean Nouvel, was not the right man as a modernist would not be appropriate for a site so close to Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece.
What was necessary, the prince said, was something that should â€œallow St Paul’s to shine brightlyâ€, which implies that Nouvel’s plans. He asked me if the developer, Francis Salway of Land Securities, â€œneed any help to think about what works bestâ€. He also suggested that his architecture charity could help you find an alternative.
In 1984, when Charles denounced proposals for an extension to the National Gallery by the architects Ahrends Burton and Koralek as â€œanthraxâ€, their regime has been thrown away, the architects have been replaced and their practice immediately.