British Architecture School Causes Royal Stir

By Steiner, Wendy | THE JOURNAL RECORD, August 2, 1991 | Go to article overview

British Architecture School Causes Royal Stir


Steiner, Wendy, THE JOURNAL RECORD


In a dim attic office in St. James's Palace, plans are afoot for the Prince of Wales's second annual Summer School in Civil Architecture, which will begin Saturday. This program, Prince Charles' most recent attempt to erase what he sees as the blot of modernism on the British cityscape, has provoked a good deal of media attention and something akin to hysteria among architects.

Supporters hope the school will reintroduce the beauty and civility lost since the introduction of modernist architecture. Opponents, mostly modernist architects, fear that the prince's intervention has put a hex on their efforts to grab important building contracts in the United Kingdom.

In an age of computers, professors of architecture disdain a return to the old-fashioned life drawing and crafts training that form the basis of the summer school curriculum.

The opening session of the school on the campus of Oxford University last summer was veiled in the kind of secrecy that other countries reserve for the development of strategic weapons. Lecturers were pledged not to speak to the press as a condition of employment; all but a few reporters were refused access to the site, and the only press release was an application-form blurb by Prince Charles extolling "civil architecture."

This year, with a new director, Brian Hanson, who is also the prince's "secretary in architecture," the tone is calmer. The aim is to consolidate last year's experiments into a program exploring the spiritual dimension of architecture, an idea the prince's men formulate as "man the builder."

At stake, as the Prince of Wales sees it, are the livability and traditional look of British cities, the degeneration of which during this second Elizabethan Age has become a cause of national alarm.

Over the past six years, the prince's speeches have delighted the public, and in the process have turned the British design profession on its head. Architecture is now discussed with the passion reserved in the United States for baseball.

The problem, in the prince's view, is that the public has lost faith in the profession. One of his chief architectural advisers, Leon Krier, puts it this way: "People want beauty around them, and everywhere they are denied it."

The 25 young men and women in last year's session, who came from Britain, America and Europe, set out to instruct themselves in this popular idea of beauty. Two-thirds of them were architects; the rest were civil engineers, artists, craftsmen and builders.

They spent five weeks at Magdalen College in Oxford and the British School in Rome, visiting sites and receiving lectures and studio instruction. They practiced the time-honored but by now unfashionable techniques of life drawing, and constructed an architectural order of columns from 19th-century pattern books. They watched as their capitals were cut into stone, and then drew the stone, switching back and forth between two- and three-dimensional conception, the essence of the architectural task.

Working only from documents, they designed a row house to replace a modernist misfit in an Oxford street, then learned the necessity of modifying their designs after visiting the site and talking to the residents. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

British Architecture School Causes Royal Stir
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.