DECONSTRUCTED: Bricks and stones

Who is more powerful: Prince Charles, heir to the throne in England, or the State of Qatar?

The question may be answered through a dispute involving the redevelopment of the Chelsea Barracks in London. The site is being built by investor Qatari Diar, owned by the Middle East state. Prince Charles hates the design.

The development of Chelsea barracks is one of the “most important residential development sites in Europe” according to Qatari Diar, which acquired the barracks for €1.1 billion via investment vehicle Project Blue last year.

Prince Charles, Chelsea

Already Qatari has had to submit a revised plan for the project after receiving local objections, but it may have to think again after the objection from the Prince, who dislikes the glass-and-steel building materials and wants to see bricks, stone and slate instead.

Qatari Diar said: “Whilst our submitted scheme is modern, we share HRH's views on integrated sustainable developments and we are currently in dialogue with his representatives to explore whether we will be able to establish a mutual accord. Meanwhile, we await the verdict of the Westminster City Council's Planning Committee.”

Qatar-UK relations are more important than you might think: Qatar is set to supply 20 percent of the UK's natural gas needs.

That makes the Chelsea Barracks more than just a design issue.