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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2014, 6:40 AM
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Prince Charles reveals 10 principles for "more mature view" of urban design

Prince Charles reveals 10 principles for "more mature view" of urban design


21 December 2014

Read More: http://www.dezeen.com/2014/12/21/pri...-urban-design/

Quote:
The Prince of Wales has called for urbanists to "reconnect with traditional approaches" in an essay that lays out his vision for the future of architecture and planning. --- "I have lost count of the times I have been accused of wanting to turn the clock back to some Golden Age. Nothing could be further from my mind. My concern is the future," begins Prince Charles' 2,000-word essay in the latest issue of The Architectural Review.

- The prince goes on to set out 10 "important geometric principles" for urban masterplanning that he says aim "to mix the best of the old with the best of the new" and provide a template for designing places "according to the human scale and with nature at the heart of the process". --- "It is time to take a more mature view" and "reconnect with traditional approaches and techniques", says the British royal. "This approach does not deny the benefits and convenience that our modern technology brings," he writes.

- "All I am suggesting is that the new alone is not enough. We have to be mindful of the long-term consequences of what we construct in the public realm and, in its design, reclaim our humanity and our connection with nature, both of which, because of the corporate rather than human way in which our urban spaces have been designed, have come under increasing threat."

- "To counter this, I believe we have to revisit the learning that for so long has been embedded in traditional approaches to design, simply because they are so rooted in our own connection with nature's patterns and processes. As we face so many critical challenges in the years ahead, these approaches are crying out to be brought back to the forefront of contemporary practice."

- During a now infamous speech marking the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1984, the prince launched an unprecedented attack on contemporary architects. A proposal for the extension of London's National Gallery by British firm Ahrends, Burton and Koralek bore the brunt of his criticism. "What is proposed is like a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend," said Charles.

- His comments caused outrage among architects and resulted in the scrapping of the scheme, which was eventually replaced with a building by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. The fall out did not prevent him from involving himself further in architecture and planning, contributing to his reputation as a "meddling" prince, which he acknowledged in a speech in 2011.

- As well as building his Poundbury model town in Dorset, populated with Classical-style buildings, and launching a short-lived architecture magazine, he has founded an art school dedicated to traditional styles and techniques in east London. He also created the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment charity to promote traditional architecture and planning – these activities are now carried out by the Prince's Foundation for Building Communities.

- With this latest essay, Charles says he is focusing on creating a sustainable future for the planet, and not architectural style. "We face the terrifying prospect by 2050 of another three billion people on this planet needing to be housed, and architects and urban designers have an enormous role to play in responding to this challenge," he writes.

- "We have to work out now how we will create resilient, truly sustainable and human-scale urban environments that are land-efficient, use low-carbon materials and do not depend so completely upon the car. However, for these places to enhance the quality of people’s lives and strengthen the bonds of community, we have to reconnect with those traditional approaches and techniques honed over thousands of years which, only in the 20th century, were seen as 'old-fashioned' and of no use in a progressive modern age. It is time to take a more mature view."

.....








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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2014, 7:42 AM
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This new urbanist traditionalism may seem good on paper but it really limits creativity. Plus the cutesyness leaves a weird aftertaste. Architecture is about more than just fitting in to the surroundings and being as inoffensive as possible.

Not to mention there are very few examples of buildings that successfully build off their context. More often than not they just look kitschy.
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Old Posted Dec 31, 2014, 5:23 AM
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I envisioned the Teletubby's house as I read that.
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Old Posted Dec 31, 2014, 6:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy View Post
This new urbanist traditionalism may seem good on paper but it really limits creativity. Plus the cutesyness leaves a weird aftertaste. Architecture is about more than just fitting in to the surroundings and being as inoffensive as possible.

Not to mention there are very few examples of buildings that successfully build off their context. More often than not they just look kitschy.
London has a ton of new buildings that were built using classical styles and now look great. One example (which Charles used in his late-80s book if I recall) was next to the bridge between Richmond and East Twickenham.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2015, 8:15 PM
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5-10 are really important and in no way prohibits the building of modern, varied and creative developments.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2015, 8:47 PM
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Prince Charles helped design the incredible new urbanism neighborhood of Poundbury which is absolutely incredible. If you didn't know it was a new development you would think you were walking around a centuries old organically designed neighborhood.
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 2:57 AM
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I'm shocked that Prince Charles has such good ideas.
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 7:48 AM
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Originally Posted by huggkruka View Post
5-10 are really important and in no way prohibits the building of modern, varied and creative developments.
Number 6 does.

There is no reason modernism, minimalism, and other avant garde context-breaking architecture made of glass, metal, and concrete can't be incorporated within the new-urbanist dogma. Modernism is no longer about 'form-follows-function', but instead about simplicity, itself, being a form that is as urbanistic and human as any other architecture, provided there is effort put into it (as with any building). Why restrict ourselves to the outdated and pseudo-scientific suggestion that architecture can only be objectively good if it follows a certain concise set of rules? Isn't that what the 20th century modernists did? The very people new-urbanists try to go against? The new-urbanists criticized the modernists for claiming to know objective truths about society, yet they themselves seem to have taken their place. So many amazing buildings have been scaled down to mediocrity because of fear of 'breaking the context' and being 'out of scale.' It has taught people to fear money being put into developments, making them look cheaper and worse in the end.

In my opinion a successful urban landscape has as wide a variety of styles, concepts, and materials in its architecture as possible, and from as many time periods as possible.
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Last edited by ThatOneGuy; Jan 5, 2015 at 8:10 AM.
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 4:05 PM
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Modernism is often about letting function define the form. That guides materials, but does not ban materials. What bans materials is budget. New architecture often fails because in the past we were limited by the number of types of materials we had and the cost of them was more equal. Today, there are many materials that are easier to build with, require less time to construct and often look cheaper. We are victims of industrialization and capitalism; we are not victims of modernism.
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2015, 11:40 AM
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No 6 can of course be interpreted a bit differently - the way I chose to see it is A) Regional materials and methods often make sense to use as they have appeared over a very long time, thus they create efficient and well-functioning buildings, and B) in the age of globalization, one should be at least be critical of the fact that buildings can be completely detached from the cultural history around them and reflect on what it means for people's experience of the architecture.

B) is of course the most subjective. I don't think we should build Poundburys everywhere(or their equivalence) but rather go a layer deeper - the Bo01 area in Malmö, for example, was heavily inspired by vernacular fishing villages, and the tight structure has created a wind-sheltered and cosy environment that is highly sought after - while the individual buildings within are to a large part modern. Similarly, the Dutch has used their vernacular gable buildings to create ultra-dense single-family housing. Going a bit away from materials here... I am a planner after all...

Bo01 in Malmö

Extremely dense single-family houses, Borneo-Sporenburg, Amsterdam

Scandinavian modernists were quite good at combining vernacular materials with modern ideas, and these buildings appear to me as timeless and fitting today, while many that are similar in form and function, but with modern materials, are disliked and aging without grace. So there is definitely something in the materials that affect the function - via sociology and human behaviour.


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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2015, 5:41 PM
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While Prince Charles may talk about scale, this is his favoured proposal for Hyde Park Barracks...



what a monster!
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2015, 7:03 PM
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^
That is amazing.
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2015, 7:45 PM
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2nd that.
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Old Posted Jan 9, 2015, 9:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnypd View Post
While Prince Charles may talk about scale, this is his favoured proposal for Hyde Park Barracks...

...

what a monster!
No surprise there!

Him and people in his camp shouldn't try to theorize. Non-neotraditional architecture has a rich history and development of ideas that you can give explanations and justifications for why things are the way they are. And sometimes other movements throughout history are contradictory, but there are still so many interesting and beautiful ideas.

Ironically, out of those 10, the ones that hold up under critical examination (why is concrete bad but limestone good?) are either universal qualities of architecture (that for thousands of years they have never been in dispute) or are ideas that were developed by modernism.

And the other ideas are frequently contradicted by their own proponents. Richard Roger's scheme has more human scale (3), but also beats out his favored proposal on a few other of the criteria. Poundbury violates a few on that list as well. And the actual architecture that the neotraditional buildings are based off violate that list, and that list would be almost completely foreign to the architects of the buildings he supposedly thinks are good models.

So instead of trying to theorize, he should just say that he thinks they're prettier and leave it at that. I could find brutalist housing schemes that fulfill that list much more than the projects that he personally endorses, but he still wouldn't like the brutalist buildings.

I think the reason, even if just subconsciously, is that he supports traditional architecture because his entire identity and existence comes from being royalty, a very traditional institution, and that the architecture that is symbolically of the progressive welfare state undermines the cultural authority of those institutions.
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Old Posted Jan 10, 2015, 5:40 AM
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The problem with this kind of neo-traditional design is that many aspects of those traditional buildings often arose from economics and necessity rather than choice.

-You build to a certain height because it is the sweet spot of rental income and structural technology (before the steel frame, masonry buildings could only go so high).

-You use local materials because those are the cheapest around - there was no mass production or transportation to create a universal set of cheap building materials.

-You design the streets for pedestrians because cars don't exist

-You fill out the lot with buildings because interior space is money, and you don't want to waste any

-You lease out the ground floor to a shop because they can afford to pay a higher rent than a resident


In other words, old cities are quaint, and reproductions are creepy even if they are pleasant. Neither type of environment expresses the social, economic, or technological conditions of today, and would never get built were it not for government regulation and crazy visionaries like Prince Charles.
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Old Posted Jan 10, 2015, 3:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
^
That is amazing.
I like you, always nice to pass you and your photography skills on here but I must say, that thing is boring and uselessly costly to me. What the heck is it? Some wannaby all Euro old fart design? Nonsense. If you think such a thing built today could ever get the same recognition as any original stuff of any kind, pardon me but you're naive. People influential in the art of architecture and lifestyle would just laugh, then I'd have to laugh with them because they are qualified in that matter. For that kind of money, you get some stunning contemporary and innovative materials. I don't like when people are that nostalgic for the past. It's a bad sign.

No offense to Mr Charles who may well be a nice person. But his taste sucks. I don't think it would serve London and the rest of us in a proper manner.
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Old Posted Jan 10, 2015, 5:16 PM
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i like a little historicism, especially when done simply and with good materials.

it can also go terribly wrong when you start cutting corners because of the budget. when it's half-assed and not executed perfectly, it's a disaster. i think simplicity and high quality materials are the key.

an example of ultra simple historicist(?) infill in st. louis (the middle house).


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Old Posted Jan 13, 2015, 1:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnypd View Post
While Prince Charles may talk about scale, this is his favoured proposal for Hyde Park Barracks...



what a monster!
People go to cities like Rome and Paris and Prague and are overwhelmed by the incredible beauty of their cities, yet no city seems to want to strive to keep building that way. This barracks proposal is just friggin awesome.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2015, 2:14 PM
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Is Prince Charles a developer? What's his role in all of this?
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2015, 3:53 PM
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Is Prince Charles a developer? What's his role in all of this?
Prince of Wales. Which allows him to interfere in anything he likes, particularly architecture. I don't think this is a serious proposal fwiw - the army hasn't decided if it is even going to sell this site yet.

He tried to push a Quinlan Terry design for Chelsea Barracks a couple of years back and managed to single handidly foil a Richard Rogers scheme by personally complaining to the Emir of Qatar, whose country owned the site.

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