Prince Charles Vs Lord Rogers, Classic Vs Modern – The Chelsea Barracks...

Prince Charles Vs Lord Rogers, Classic Vs Modern – The Chelsea Barracks Controversy


Prince Charles has once again stepped into the media limelight after opposing the Chelsea Barracks design by Lord Rogers.

Rogers was “attacked” by the Prince years ago in regards to his proposed extension of London’s National Gallery. Prince Charles is not happy with the “unsympathetic” and “unsuitable” design for the area and has written a letter of complaint to site’s owners – Sheikh Hamad bin Jaber Jasim al-Thani, the Prime Minister of Qatar.

The Chelsea Barracks design is backed by the Qatari royal family and the Prince is hoping to change the design of the project to something more suitable for the area according to news reports. He proposed one of his favourite architects for the job instead and urged the Qatari Diar to involve him in future discussions about the development.

The Chelsea Barracks site was bought in May 2006 for almost £1 billion by the Qatari Diar and developer brothers Nick and Christian Candy.

Lord Rogers’s plans for 350 luxury flats on the barracks site have risen quite a discussion. The original scheme was for the apartments to be housed in a series of ‘ pavilions’ rising to ten storeys. But the plans were opposed by the local Belgravia Residents’ Association.

Several changes have since been amended and re-submitted to Westminster Council. But the Prince is not happy with the modern design of the Barracks and favours a more traditional design instead – a design that fits with the current look of the prestige residential area.

He advocates a classical design made from bricks, stones and slate instead. The proposed design by Prince Charles mirrors the design of Sir Christopher Wren’s Royal Hospital across the road.

Meanwhile, some of the worlds top architects have criticized Prince Charles for using his privileged position to intervene in the design of a controversial luxury development in one of the most attractive parts of London.

The architects, which include five winners of the Pritzker prize, architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel prize, complain that Charles has ‘skewed’ the democratic process by using his royal connections in an attempt to stop modernist plans for the former Chelsea Barracks.

The Prince was told to keep his nose out of affairs that wouldn’t concern him. There is certainly plenty of controversy around the current events and we would like to know what YOU think about this? Are you in favour of the Prince, or do you feel he should have been quiet about voicing his opinions?