Jay Merrick: The Prince is not interested in modernity

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The Independent Online

It is inconceivable that the Prince's Foundation could be made responsible for assessing the potential goodness or badness of major British architectural projects; not because its officers are culturally one-eyed. The fundamentally damning point is that the Prince and his Foundation claim they are interested in modernist architecture, but they are not. They are interested in architecture ambered in the romantic soft-focus of history and tradition. Just as there is good and bad neo-classical architecture, so there is good and bad modern architecture. Would the Duchy Original cohort know the difference?

The Foundation's director, Hank Dittmar, says that to be credible, "it would have to have democratic, independent judgement. We would have to have a panel that was not exclusively traditional architects." A panel as democratic as, say, Charles's billet doux to the Qatari royal family which effectively destroyed the Rogers scheme? Or perhaps as democratic as the lobbying that developers pursue to get planners on-side?

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