Introducing the September-October 2022 issue – ADC
A new era. Time for the-architecture enthusiast-formerly-known-as-Prince-Charles to stop voicing opinions; to adopt the enigmatic silence befitting a crowned head of state. So does architecture stand to lose its most divisive voice?
Some might say it would be a relief. This, after all, is the man who fuelled the public’s distrust of modern architecture. Who contrived to derail projects that didn’t meet with his approval, depriving us of at least three Richard Rogers buildings and what would have been the UK’s only building by Mies van der Rohe.
But times have changed. The threat of climate catastrophe makes style wars seem almost quaint. And our freshly- minted King is one of the few people who can reasonably claim to have been at the forefront of the climate debate for over 50 years.
To his credit, he has honed a vague enthusiasm for harmony with nature and pre-industrial values into a halfway convincing strategy for change. Where Poundbury felt like an essay in nostalgia, his current plans for a landscape-led new town in Faversham, Kent, are more focused on sustainable place-making.
While he remains committed to ‘traditional’ education in architecture, crafts and drawing, he is increasingly focused on sustainable urbanism and construction. In a surprise move, he has teamed up with the legendary former Apple designer and current RCA Chancellor Jony Ive to launch a design lab that encourages students to produce designs that tackle climate change.
The initiative is part of his new project, Terra Carta, an organisation dedicated to coordinating private sector efforts to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. Launched at the World Economic Forum, it has the support of hundreds of corporate giants including HSBC and, controversially, BP. Its raison d’être is to encourage investors to focus on key priority areas, including biomimicry, green infrastructure and carbon-neutral construction. Given the wealth and reach of its support base, the implications for architecture and construction could be huge.
Let’s hope Charles continues to speak out. This is the kind of patronage we need.
Source: Architecture Today