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Moving on

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astragal

Memories of the community architecture years were stirred at the London Architecture Biennale, which hosted a Radio 3 debate on whether the Prince of Wales had been good for architecture. Marking 20 years since the Prince's notorious speech at Hampton Court, the motion supporting him was proposed by the urbane Jules Lubbock and the RIBA president George Ferguson. It was opposed by a feisty Amanda Levete (who managed to drag herself back from Portugal, where she had been to see the England/ Portugal quarter-final), and critic Hugh Pearman, on brutally good form as he launched a regicidal blast at the Prince's record. Most of the audience, including ABK's Peter Ahrends, voted against the idea that the Prince had been a good thing. It would have been good to hear critic Jeremy Melvin's view that the Prince sees architecture as an aspect of the Picturesque, which is about control and manipulation of what is seen, while appearing natural. Thus the Prince's declarations about architecture are really a cipher for his loss of control in other areas of his life.

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