Page last updated at 06:10 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 07:10 UK

Architects to hear Prince appeal

Prince Charles
The Prince has become renowned for his outspoken views on architecture

Prince Charles is to urge an audience of architects that they must build to last and put the needs of people first.

His speech to the Royal Institute of British Architects comes at a time when he has been accused of meddling with plans for a modern London development.

Twenty-five years after he called a proposed extension to London's National Gallery a "monstrous carbuncle", the prince's comments remain controversial.

Some architects have said they will boycott Tuesday's lecture.

Addressing the theme of sustainable architecture, the prince is also set to say that those living around new developments should be key to the planning process and involved in the design of projects.

He is expected to suggest that planners take account of three guiding principles - a grounding in precedent, being aware of local community developments and utilising the best of modern technology.

His view is really out of date - it belongs to another century
Architect Will Alsop

The BBC's royal correspondent, Peter Hunt, said: "In architecture, as in health and education, Prince Charles is a controversial figure.

"A champion of traditional buildings constructed with local people in mind, he stands accused by his critics of using his influence to the detriment of the democratic process."

Some are angered by his opposition to a scheme to build steel and glass towers on the site near the River Thames in London where the Chelsea Barracks once stood.

The development is one of many sites criticised by the prince.

In February 2008 he described a 21st-Century £6m university lecture hall as looking like a dustbin.

In 2005, the prince launched an attack on the "cavalier attitude" of Britain's architects and town planners.

'Fairyland view'

HAVE YOUR SAY
You cannot just keep hold of the past, modern day is steel and glass, just accept it.
Will Gardner, Norwich

The BBC's correspondent said the prince's 1984 "carbuncle" comments "amounted to an assault on modern architecture" but his "latest speech is unlikely to have such a dramatic impact".

Even so, it has provoked debate among architects.

Will Alsop said: "His view is really out of date. It belongs to another century and I don't see why in the 21st Century we should be building 'fairyland' when we could be doing something much better."

However, Robert Adam said it was "right and proper" for the prince to speak out.

"The Prince of Wales... is speaking for the man in the street... who has no real power in the face of very powerful architects and bureaucracy," he said.



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