Britain's architects get a right royal dressing-down from Prince Charles

Britain's architects are still bathing their bruises after Prince Charles gave their profession a right royal dressing-down at the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of Architects last month.

Seated in gilt chairs and expecting 10 minutes of sweet nothings from the Prince's lips, the architects instead heard themselves accused of arrogance and a failure to satisfy the needs of the people.

Charles described an extension proposed for the National Gallery in London's Trafalgar Square as ''a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend.''

He dismissed a building planned for the City of London as ''yet another giant glass stump.''

In seven pages of devastating critique, Prince Charles:

* Declared that British architects are more interested in congratulating each other on their work than in serving the people.

* Likened the National Gallery extension to a ''vast municipal fire station, complete with siren tower.''

* Compared modern architects unfavorably with Sir Christopher Wren, designer of St. Paul's Cathedral, one of his favorite buildings (he was married there).

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