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Prince Charles Wins National Building Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize

"I seem to be a dangerous commodity in certain circles and receiving such awards is a relatively novel experience for me,” said Prince Charles in accepting the Vincent Scully Prize at the National Building Museum during his U.S. visit in early November. The prize, whose previous winners include the Aga Khan and Jane Jacobs, recognizes exemplary practice, scholarship, or criticism in building design.

The Prince has earned a reputation for his controversial advocacy of traditional town planning and design in speeches and publications and for his charities that work to implement his ideas. The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment teaches traditional urban design and is involved in the creation of approximately 20 sustainable communities, some in revived inner city areas, some in urban extensions, and others in brownfield development zones. The Prince’s Regeneration Trust promotes the rescue and rehabilitation of redundant historic buildings, while The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts teaches arts and crafts rooted in tradition.

“In any sane society, tradition and modernity would be the best of friends,” Prince Charles lamented in his acceptance speech. “It’s not about style or pastiche. It is about learning from the best that has gone before, something infinitely adaptable, infinitely changeable.” He announced that he would donate the $25,000 prize money to rebuilding the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Andrea Oppenheimer Dean