History

For a quarter of a century we have sought to find sustainable ways of developing the communities and the homes in which we live, work and play. We believe it is a self-evident truth that where you live affects the way you live. Through the promotion of this truth we have helped to transform lives across the globe.

These beliefs have been championed for decades by HRH The Prince of Wales, and are at the heart of our work. Formerly known as The Institute of Architecture, the Prince’s Foundation has long sought to learn, practice and teach principles that can be applied across different building cultures, to help create a harmonious, timeless architectural legacy. 

What started in 1987 as Prince Charles’ “Vision for Britain”, first presented in a dedicated BBC documentary on modern architecture in Britain, has evolved into charity committed to engaging, educating and empowering communities across the world.

The last 25 years have sped by and even Prince Charles has commented that “It astounds me to think that it was over twenty-five years ago that I started on the rather rough road towards what has now become my Foundation. It seemed to me then, as it does still, that the nature of our built environment has a crucial impact on our quality of life and our physical and mental well-being.”

To achieve this, we believe that the lessons of past concerning traditional architecture and planning must be both remembered and learnt from. However in itself these lessons are not enough they must be combined with an understanding of the needs and aspirations of the people that live and work at the heart of these places. 

It is our belief that the wisdom of local people should be not only heard but really listened to. To put this belief into action we pioneered an innovative community engagement framework called ‘Enquiry by Design’ (EbD). By getting around the table from Africa to Asia, America to Europe we create projects that reflect what local people want. We engage local stakeholders, residents and business owners to find what it is they want and need in their communities, and how we can empower them to achieve it. 

Since we were founded our educational projects have also flourished to become a core part of our work. We equip professionals, graduates and the public with the skills they need to design, build and preserve sustainable communities. We run all sorts of programmes for all sorts of groups. We have even created a series of lectures, seminars and conferences that build upon our policy and research programme.

With sustainable living and eco-friendly design at the heart of contemporary debates, the work begun so many decades ago now has resonance in all fields of study, both practical and theoretical. Having begun life as a simply a strong belief in traditional principles and community wisdom we are now a dynamic charity that operates across the globe. We look to the future with a sense of hope that our achievements will continue and that our work will continue to transform lives.

 

 

 

A Timeline Of Our History