Prince Charles has lambasted Richard Rogers’ design for the redevelopment of London’s Chelsea Barracks, labelling it ’unsuitable’ and ‘unsympathetic’
According to the Daily Mail, Prince Charles has made a personal plea to the site’s owner, Qatari Diar (the development arm of the Qatari royal family), asking it to consider an alternative design for the central London project. It is understood that the Prince of Wales is backing a more classical design by architect Quinlan Terry.
The site was purchased by Qatari Diar and Christian Candy’s development business, Guernsey based CPC Group from the Ministry of Defence for almost £1 billion in 2006. The original plans by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners included 640 flats in a series of pavilions of up to 10 storeys high, adjacent to the site’s original 1691 Christopher Wren-designed building.
However, following objections by the Belgravia Residents Association, the design was amended to reduce the number of flats and increase the amount of open space. Even so, the modernist steel-and-glass design remains, which residents claim is not in keeping with the area.
It is not the first time the project has come under fire. In June 2008, the AJ reported that the Duke of Westminster – who owns the Grosvenor Estate adjacent to the west London site – had attacked the proposals for being ‘monotonous’ and ‘out of context’.