With British Museum Plans Canceled, Richard Rogers Loses Second Big Project to Anti-Modern Forces


The good news is often followed by the bad, if history is any judge, and so it is for starchitect Richard Rogers, who seems neck and neck in competition with Frank Gehry for popular architect most raked over the coals in 2009. Last week, Rogers was back on top with the news that an unprecedented two of his projects had been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. But now the bad has returned and Rogers has once again lost a battle against Prince Charles and his anti-modern gangs. Rogers’ plans for an extension to the British Museum, which would add a five story facility used for everything from archival and administrative purposes to new exhibition space, has been rejected by the city council in a landslide vote to have the starchitect’s plans scraped. The museum itself is upset that it won’t be able to move forward with the plans it selected and will now either have to hunt out a new architect or go without. Meanwhile, the Prince Charles camp was more than happy to gloat a bit over the decision:

The council’s decision has delighted television presenter and conservation champion Griff Rhys Jones, who is president of the Camden Civic Society. Rhys Jones, who is currently filming in Rome for his ITV series World’s Greatest Cities, said: “It is a huge relief. The proposed scheme would have harmed the great city that is London.

“We do not want to stand in the way of the Museum expanding its exhibition spaces, but this design was too dominant. It would have overwhelmed the fantastic building and dwarfed it.”