RIBA condemns Prince Charles's bid for design review
Ruth Reed today condemned the Prince’s Foundation for considering bidding to take over Cabe’s design review function.
In a strongly worded statement she said it was “entirely inappropriate” for the foundation to propose itself for a role that demands impartiality.
BD broke the news in this week’s paper that Prince Charles’s architectural charity was considering a plan to fill the gap left by Cabe by carrying out design reviews.
Chief executive Hank Dittmar told BD it would decide by Christmas whether to go ahead with the move.
He acknowledged that its design review panels would have to reflect all stylistic poitions to fend off accusations that only traditional architecture would get the thumbs-up.
“To be credible, it would have to have democratic, independent judgment,” he said. “We would have to have a panel that was balanced and not exclusively traditional architects.”
But the idea was immediately denounced as a “disaster” by Will Alsop who said it would lead to increased “meddling” by Prince Charles.
Today Ruth Reed said: “The Prince’s Foundation is entirely inappropriately placed for a role that 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.
“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. It is something that the RIBA continues to explore with the government.”