Supercrit #6: Leon Krier presents Poundbury

31 October 2008

  • Leon Krier and Charles Jenks speaking at The University of Westminster
  • James Woudhuysen speaking at The University of Westminster

Devised by EXP, the Research Centre for Experimental Practice at the University of Westminster, and presented with The Architecture Foundation, Supercrit #6 turns to one of the most controversial projects of our times. Leon Krier presents his 1980s master plan for Poundbury in Dorset to a panel of critics and supporters including Jules Lubbock (Professor of Art, University of Essex), Michael Wilford (Michael Wilford architects), Sean Griffiths (FAT), James Woudhuysen (Professor of Forecasting and Innovation, de Montfort University) and Sarah Wigglesworth (Sarah Wigglesworth Architects). The panel is chaired by Charles Jencks and the debate extended to involve the audience at large.

Krier's commission from the Prince of Wales in 1988 to design a master plan for Poundbury - a 'new village' on the outskirts of Dorchester in Dorset - has provided enough fuel for the debate about post-war town planning to burn several villages. Twenty years on, Poundbury's second phase of development was almost complete, and further expansion planned. It is visited by town planning delegates from around the world and is an influential model for house builders, urban designers and transport engineers across the UK, yet the model for what some have called the perfect village raises vexed questions of authenticity and historicism. It is still arguably in the explosive shadow of Post Modernism, whilst pursuing the ideals of social integration and sustainable living. The project remains one of the most contentious of the last thirty years.

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