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: