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RIBA hits out at Prince's Foundation's design review bid


RIBA president Ruth Reed has spoken out against the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment’s bid to take over the design review role currently run by the soon-to-disappear CABE.

Speaking today (29 October), Reed said: The Prince’s Foundation is entirely inappropriately placed for a role which demands complete impartiality when making decisions related to the future of the built environment.

‘Good design must not be determined nor constrained by arbitrary stylistic preferences, or the notion of what buildings ‘should’ look like; good design is simply about delivering both the client and the public’s needs within budget, in a way that is appropriate to the building’s context. It has to take full consideration of the aesthetic, future use and technical ambitions and constraints of the client, site and brief.

She added: ‘Design review is one of the most important aspects of CABE’s role, and is a way of helping clients and local communities achieve better buildings. The integrity of the process must be maintained, and therefore it should continue to be delivered independently.’

Reed when on to say the institute was ‘continuing to explore’ the possibilities of helping to run an independent review service with the government.

Earlier this week the charity, of which The Prince of Wales is president, told the AJ it was looking at a ‘fee-for-service’ model to help local authorities and property developers to fill the potential vacuum left by CABE, which had its funding cut last Wednesday.

Previous story (28.10.10)

Prince’s Foundation looks to take over CABE’s review role

The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment is considering setting up a new design review service following the news CABE is to be disbanded

The charity, of which The Prince of Wales is president, told the AJ it was looking at a ‘fee-for-service’ model to help local authorities and property developers to fill the potential vacuum left by CABE, which had its funding cut last week.

Hank Dittmar, chief executive of foundation said the coalition government had been forced to make some ‘difficult choices’ and that it was important ‘design quality did not slip’ in the wake of the decision to pull financial support for CABE.

He said: ‘[We are now] investigating the feasibility of providing design review services for local authorities and developers with the help of our network of architects and other designers. Such a service could be provided on a fee-for-service basis and might introduce the element of competition and choice into the design review process.’

He added: ‘If other organisations similarly stepped into this niche, it might allow local authorities to choose services that best fit local needs rather than having design quality and style mediated by an organisation funded by central government.’



Readers' comments (3)

  • I can see it now.

    We absolutely love love your 60m high titanium clad building with funny angles however do you mind awfully taking 40m off, swap the titanium for Portland Stone and , naturally add a Portcullis. Oh and get rid of the funny angles*.

    * Of course this is all dependent on a sign off by HRH

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  • God or someone/something help us all. Will someone tell Charlie that if there is no change there is no history, and if that is the case then we should all be living in naturally formed caves, or is that an architectural scenario too green?
    No wonder we want to keep singing God Save the Queen.

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  • Not funded by central government but controlled by someone who's Mummy creates it and has her face on the money.. Mmm?

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