Leading architects including Adjaye, Foster, Gehry and Hadid write letter criticising Prince of Wales' intervention on barracks scheme
A host of global leading architects have come out against the Prince of Wales' intervention on Lord Rogers' Chelsea Barracks scheme in west London.
A letter to the Sunday Times signed by architects including Zaha Hadid, Lord Foster, Frank Gehry and David Adjaye said that the prince should not use “private comments and behind-the-scenes lobbying” to “skew” the progress of the Qatari Diar development's planning application.
The letter said: “The developers have chosen carefully in selecting the best architect for the sensitive project. Rogers and his team have played their part in engaging with the democratic process. The prince and his advisers should do the same. The process should be allowed to take its course; otherwise we risk condemning this critical site to years as an urban blight.”
The letter was also signed by architects Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Jean Nouvel and Rogers' former colleague Renzo Piano.
Other heavyweight signatories were: Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate and a former Cabe commissioner; Ricky Burdett, professor in architecture at the LSE and chief design advisor to the UK Olympic Delivery Authority; and Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum.
The letter is the latest twist in the row between modernist and traditionalist architects stirred up by a letter sent by Prince Charles to the Emir of Qatar regarding Chelsea Barracks.
The prince was reported to have called designs by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners “unsuitable” and “unsympathetic”, and suggested that the head of Qatari Diar commission architect Quinlan Terry to design the scheme instead.