After 25 Years, Poundbury's Revolutionary Traditionalism Still Divides

Designed by architect Léon Krier, and spearheaded by Prince Charles, the 'model village' on 400 acres outside of Dorchester, England was begun 25 years ago. As Graham Norwood reports, its success is still a matter for debate.

1 minute read

October 2, 2012, 11:00 AM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Although its neo-traditional architecture is derided by some, and the downturn has pushed back its expected completion date, the pioneering New Urbanist development remains popular among homebuyers. As Norwood notes, "estate agents claim Poundbury's homes have
sold more rapidly and at higher prices than those in adjoining
Dorchester."

But just what type of homebuyer is moving in? According to Norwood, an "influx of older residents, along with agents reporting an
above-average number of mature buyers, may fuel the belief that
Poundbury's traditional values appeal only to a more senior subset of
the population."

Despite concerns about the wider appeal for the Poundbury development type, two projects based on the same principles, to be located at the Newquay Growth Area, a coastal resort in the far south-west of
England, and at the nearby town of
Truro, are proceeding. 

"The Duchy claims support for these schemes from local authorities and
developers shows the prince's approach to building is gaining momentum," says Norwood.
"Critics are less convinced, nick-naming the coastal scheme Surfbury and
the supermarket-backed venture Trolleybury, and accusing both of
turning the clock back in terms of design."

Friday, September 28, 2012 in The Financial Times

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