Media reports suggest Prince of Wales wanted new architect for One New Change development
Prince Charles attempted to intervene in the development of Land Securities’ £500m One New Change development in the City of London, it has emerged.
According to the Guardian newspaper, the Prince of Wales wrote to Land Secs’ chief executive Francis Salway in 2005, asking him to reconsider the selection of French architect Jean Nouvel.
Nouvel was selected ahead of Rafael Vinoly and HOK to design the £500m commercial development in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The Prince reportedly wrote that Nouvel was the wrong choice for such a sensitive site, and asked that the developers meet the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment to “think about what works best”.
He made reference to Paternoster Square, the neo-classicist square on the other side of St Paul’s from One New Change, as something that had been done “right”.
But Land Securities, which had run an international competition to select Nouvel and had already submitted early proposals to the City of London, politely ignored the Prince’s concerns.
Mike Hussey, then the director of Land Securities London division, told the newspaper: "[The prince's intervention] was during the planning process. It wasn't appropriate and we declined the offer."
The building is now under construction by Bovis Lend Lease, and is expected to complete in autumn next year.
Many consider that it was the Prince’s influence that recently provoked Qatari Diar to withdraw Lord Rogers’ proposals for Chelsea Barracks.