Prince Crusades against Modernism

The Evening Standard (London, England), April 7, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Prince Crusades against Modernism


LOCAL residents are hugely grateful to Prince Charles for raising his concerns about Lord Rogers's proposed steel and glass tower blocks next to Christopher Wren's Royal Hospital.

Rowan Moore suggests the main issues at stake around the different visions for the site are to do with architectural aesthetics.

But there are many other fundamental concerns about the Rogers scheme -- the overpowering height of the blocks with the resulting loss of light, amenity and privacy; the environmental unsustainability of steel and glass structures compared to bricks and mortar; the divisions between social and market housing leading to a polarised community, and the destruction of a historic garrison church recommended for Grade II listing. Terry's alternative approach may help to address each of these.

Georgine Thorburn, chairman, Chelsea Barracks Action Group..

AS AN adviser to residents around the Chelsea Barracks site, I have suggested the council could be trusted to respond to complaints about adjustments that would require some tinkering at the site's edges, but that the Rogers scheme requires an overall strategic review.

The grid of overbearing slab blocks is far from the best use of space, there is an absence of really good open spaces and the site could be better integrated with footpaths following the original barracks paths.

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