Heir to the throne visits London’s Waterloo to launch the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community

Prince Charles today unveiled the new face of his built environment charity.

The Prince, accompanied by TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp, conducted a walkabout in Lower Marsh in London’s Waterloo to mark the launch of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, formerly known as the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment.

The foundation is helping to advise on the future of the area, which is set to undergo significant change in the coming years thanks to the redevelopment of Waterloo Station, the Shell Centre, the National Theatre and Elizabeth House.

It was approached to carry out the work by the Waterloo Business Improvement District (BID).

At a speech given later at Clarence House, the Prince was expected to say: “As I walked around Waterloo, it was rather extraordinary to think that it was over 25 years ago I first started on what turned out to be an extremely lonely road towards establishing my foundation to tackle the lost art of community-building.

“I believed then, as I do now, that the nature of the built environment significantly determines our quality of life.”

Hank Dittmar, chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation, said: “We are moving away from architecture as an area of study and moving towards using architecture to help people.”

But he said the foundation would still be strongly involved in promoting low-carbon design such as the Prince’s House at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford and in design review.

“Lay people ought to be involved in design review panels,” he added.

Dittmar also had warm words about architect David Chipperfield, who is redeveloping Elizabeth House on behalf of developers London & Regional Properties and Chelsfield  Partners.

“His ability to take classical proportion and reflect it in a modern way is an amazing thing,” he said.

Allsopp, who is an ambassador for the foundation, said she backed its holistic approach to design and the attention to detail demonstrated with the Prince’s House.