Prince of Wales criticizes Lord Rogers’ design for luxury housing development

The Prince of Wales has waded into the debate over Qatari Diar’s Chelsea Barracks scheme, branding Lord Rogers’ designs for the scheme “unsuitable” and “unsympathetic”.

In a letter to the Emir of Qatar the prince expressed his dissatisfaction with the proposed plans for Chelsea Barracks, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. The prince is believed to prefer an alternative scheme by neo-classicist architect Quinlan Terry.

The heir to the throne has been known for his forthright views on modern architecture since his infamous speech in 1984, when he likened a proposed extension to the National Gallery to a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much loved and elegant friend”.

The RIBA announced last week that the Prince would speak at the annual RIBA trust lecture for the first time. Some hoped that this would help heal the rift between the prince and the profession, but these latest revelations are unlikely to help matters.

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners did not wish to comment on the prince’s remarks, but Project Blue (Guernsey), the joint venture between Qatari Diar and Christian Candy’s CPC Group, said it was not surprised at his intervention.

A spokesperson said: “We have always been aware of the Prince of Wales’ public views on modern architecture and we have been expecting that he would favour a more traditional approach. While our submitted scheme is modern, we share the prince’s views on integrated sustainable developments and we are currently in dialogue with his representatives to explore whether we will able to establish a mutual accord. Meanwhile, we await the verdict of the Westminster council’s planning committee on the RSHP scheme.”

The development team submitted a scaled-back scheme for planning in February with new landscape design by Heatherwick Studio.