Leon Krier’s tale of post-carbuncle London

Architecture Here and There

The dome of St. Paul's Cathedral takes center stage in this effort to imagine what London must have been like centuries ago. The dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral takes center stage in this effort to imagine what London must have been like centuries ago.

Here is Leon Krier’s piece, “Sustainable Architecture and the Legible City,” just published in Britain’s Architectural Review. Krier recalls the atmosphere in London architectural circles after Prince Charles’s speech denouncing an addition to the National Gallery as “a carbuncle on the face of a beloved friend.” This caught the design community by surprise. A surprise to me was that the reaction was not entirely negative, and in its wake Krier received a number of masterplanning offers, including, at last, an official, nay, a royal invitation to assess a recent competition for, and then to offer an alternative masterplan for, Paternoster Square, next to Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, which had been surrounded by plain modernist buildings after World War II.

What happened to Krier after the invitation is a…

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About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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