Architecture and Boats

All the architects I know are passionate about boats.   Nick Grimshaw sails off the coast of North Norfolk.   Michael Hopkins has a sailing boat on the River Alde.   Richard MacCormac had a clinker built boat which he’d sail up the Essex coast.   What is it about the relationship between designing buildings and messing about in boats ?  It’s partly the modernist dream of practical form, where form and function meet in the use of wood, sailcloth and rope.   It’s partly the fact that architects want a practical side to their life, being in charge of the rudder.   Maybe there’s a distant memory of the design of Noah’s Ark.

I was due to go sailing this morning in the Hopkins-designed Windflower (named after Elgar’s mistress), but there was no wind on the estuary, so we just went out on the motor instead.   The skipper was Michael Hopkins:


The crew were Charles Jencks, dressed for Ascot:


And Kenneth Grange:


We went out into the estuary:




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