Attack the Block!

Nope, not the movie. This is a different kind of attack. It’s an attack of the ‘concrete block‘!

The Prince of Wales has made more comments this week in his speech at the Institute of Chartered Engineers ‘attacking’ modern architecture saying ‘glass, steel, concrete’ are ‘deeply environmentally unfriendly’ and will very quickly become ‘unfashionable – tired looking, out-dated, no longer contemporary’…’ripe for demolition and replacement within thirty or forty years’.

His speech was widely covered and criticised in the architectural press, like in the Building Design and E-Architect.

Nothing new eh? So, how do we make ‘evergreen’ buildings? Less glass, more masonry?

The answer, as Prince Charles sees it, is to build like they used to in the ‘ye olde’ times. Get a plot of land, develop a plan around a walkable neighbourhood (good times), use traditional materials, and dress it up with traditional / vernacular architecture (bad times).

Hang on a minute. We already have one of those…what was it called again…oh yes.. Poundbury!

Although Poundbury has some good points in creating neighbourhood-focused developments, it has however given the green light for other ‘copy-cat’ developments in the UK.

New Urbanist Andres Duany (who by the way designed ‘Seaside‘ development in Florida and was the perfect set for Jim Carey’s ‘Truman Show’) is already planning Disney-like new towns, example being Tornagrain in Inverness, Scotland.

So More Masonry + Less Glass = Sustainable Developments? One questions how future generations will look back at developments like Poundbury and ask ‘When was this built?’.

Confusing? Not in the eyes of some…

Please sir, can I have more Poundburys?!


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