RIBA warns against Prince’s Foundation
design review bid


the RIBA in London have opposed a bid by the Prince's Foundation to take over the design review role currently fulfilled by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), which is to close in the wake of last week's government spending review. See press release below.

See also: CABE closed down in spending review

RIBA warns against Prince’s Foundation Design Review bid

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has spoken out against the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment’s bid to take on the design review role fulfilled by CABE.

Speaking today, RIBA President Ruth Reed said:

“The Prince’s Foundation is entirely inappropriately placed for a role which demands complete impartiality when making decisions related to the future of the built environment.

“Good design must not be determined nor constrained by arbitrary stylistic preferences, or the notion of what buildings ‘should’ look like; good design is simply about delivering both the client and the public’s needs within budget, in a way that is appropriate to the building’s context. It has to take full consideration of the aesthetic, future use and technical ambitions and constraints of the client, site and brief.

“Design review is one of the most important aspects of CABE’s role, and is a way of helping clients and local communities achieve better buildings. The integrity of the process must be maintained, and therefore it should continue to be delivered independently. It is something that the RIBA continues to explore with the Government”


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Posted on Friday October 29th 2010 at 3:06 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Greenish

    I am so glad RIBA have spoken out on this. The royal family might be a good tourist attraction, but they certainly shouldn't be let near Design and Architecture.

    • David

      The statement by Ruth Reed is quite ironic as the RIBA is far from impartial and has ‘arbitrary’ stylistic preferences of its own. This is evident, for example, in the Stirling Prize and even in their reaction to the assistance being offered by the Prince’s Foundation.

      Also, with reference to the post by Greenish, the British Royal Family has played a fundamental part in the development of architecture. The Prince Regent is a good example who, with John Nash, was responsible for the highly innovative ‘Regent’ Street and early terraced housing.

  • Sam

    RIBA is dead wrong. God forbid there should be a voice to preserve scale and a sense of architectural – historical – urban continuity with new projects. Of course good design is gauged by stylistic preferences. There is nothing wrong with building the future, just don't destroy the past in order to do it. Neighborhoods with an intimate scale or historical underpinning deserve to be preserved just like individual buildings do. London is not, nor should it ever become, Dubai, or for that matter, even New York, where the architectural helter-skelter within the grid yet has a different impact.