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Krier attacks 'idiot' architects

Léon Krier, the architect behind Prince Charles’ experimental Poundbury village in Dorset, has slammed contemporary architects, labelling them ‘idiots’ who build ‘absurd shapes’.

Speaking at the launch of his new book, The Architectural Tuning of Settlements, at the Prince's Foundation in London on Monday (21 April), the fiery Krier lamented the loss of traditional building techniques, adding that architects and planners were unable to design towns on a par with ancient cities.

He said: ‘We have not been involved in [the traditional design process] for so many years. The result is always slightly less good. And this is not just because these cities are old, but because there was experience. There was a tradition of doing things right because there was no choice about it.

‘You cannot build a 30m-long cantilever that is going the wrong way with bricks, mortar and wood. Now we have idiots who can build the most absurd shapes and they stay up. We are in a culture of excess.’

Krier refused to be drawn on which architects he was referring to, adding: ‘You can name them. I don’t need to name them. They are all my friends and colleagues.’

The 62 year old also criticised the government’s eco-towns proposals, claiming it is making decisions without knowing the full story.

‘There is no such thing as an “eco-town”,’ said Krier. ‘The government instructed many millions of new homes to be built, but under what conditions? Because the conditions are that the oil will be cheap for another 50 years. But it won’t, and that will cut down so much on our capacity to travel and to extend towns beyond their limits.

‘We’ll have to go back to traditional towns, not out of choice, as I thought, but it will be out of fate. There won’t be choice and it will be dramatic.’

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