The Prince of Wales' 13-year attempt to change the face of British architecture appeared to have ended in chaos this week as his institute's propaganda vehicle, the magazine Perspectives, was revealed to have debts of £1.8 million. As aj went to press, closure looked inevitable. This followed the news that Modernist teacher Adrian Gale, formerly head at Plymouth, had been appointed to head the pow school, despite a decision to close the diploma course, taken last November.
A report into Perspectives suggested that advertisers had been seriously misled about the state of its circulation, only just above 2000 in spring last year, even though promotional publicity claimed a circulation of 20,000. It was losing £200,000 a year, and owed the institute £1.8 million.
Now the name of the school is likely to change, possibly to the pow Foundation, to reflect wider non-academic interests. Institute director Richard Hodges told aj: 'There have been a lot of discussions about trying to reposition all the prince's interests in the built environment. As far as I know the name is still the subject of debate.'
One person apparently all in favour of the prince's architectural influence is Scottish secretary Donald Dewar, who wants him to advise on the design of the new Scottish parliament. This is in apparent ignorance of the prince's (failed) attempt to scupper the competition for the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, now being completed to designs by Benson & Forsyth.
See Hellman page 14, Martin Pawley page 22, editorial page 25