Charles sets up charity foundation on barracks site that sparked architectural row

·2-min read
In a letter to the Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani, Charles said his “heart sank” when he saw the plans for glass and steel apartment blocks and urged him to reconsider “before it is too late.”  (PA)
In a letter to the Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani, Charles said his “heart sank” when he saw the plans for glass and steel apartment blocks and urged him to reconsider “before it is too late.” (PA)

Prince Charles is to set up a base for his charitable foundation at the site of his most famous intervention over the future of British architecture.

The prince’s foundation will establish a public exhibition space to showcase its work in a listed chapel at the £3.5 billion Chelsea Barracks development.

The announcement comes 12 years after Charles scuppered the original blueprint for the 12.8-acre Qatari-owned site designed by top architect Lord Rogers.

The prince’s foundation will establish a public exhibition space to showcase its work in a listed chapel at the £3.5 billion Chelsea Barracks development (Handout)
The prince’s foundation will establish a public exhibition space to showcase its work in a listed chapel at the £3.5 billion Chelsea Barracks development (Handout)

In a letter to the Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani, Charles said his “heart sank” when he saw the plans for glass and steel apartment blocks and urged him to reconsider “before it is too late.”

The proposal was withdrawn by developers Qatari Diar and replaced by a new more traditionalist scheme of Portland Stone masterplanned by Squire & Partners inspired by the Georgian squares of Belgravia.

The row led to a bruising court battle with the Candy brothers in which a judge described Prince Charles’s role as “unexpected and unwelcome”.

Prince Charles is to set up a base for his charitable foundation at the site of his most famous intervention over the future of British architecture (Handout)
Prince Charles is to set up a base for his charitable foundation at the site of his most famous intervention over the future of British architecture (Handout)

The Grade II-listed garrison chapel, built in 1859, is at the centre of the development, which will eventually have 448 homes including 123 affordable flats and houses.

Garrison Square, one of five garden squares at the scheme, has a new restaurant and shops as well as the chapel space and surrounding gardens.

The chapel will be the foundation’s west London base. It already has a presence in the east of the capital, with its School of Traditional Arts in Shoreditch. It will be used for events, classes and functions and some staff will be located there.

A replica of a bronze sculpture of the prince originally commissioned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of another of Charles’s charities, the Prince’s Trust, will be on permanent display.

Simon Sadinsky, executive director of the Prince’s Foundation, said: “An opportunity arose for the Prince’s Foundation to lease the garrison chapel and thereby establish a presence in west London that will serve primarily as a public-facing showcase of elements of the charity’s work.”

Tariq Al Abdulla, chief development officer at Qatairi Diar, said: “The vision for Qatari Diar and Chelsea Barracks has always focused on dedicating the space to the community and promoting the advancement of arts, culture and education. Committed to honouring the creative heritage of the development and the local area, the garrison chapel provides the ideal premises for the Prince’s Foundation.”

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