The Foster + Partners-designed Yacht Club de Monaco has opened to much fanfare, attended by HSH Prince Albert II, Lord Norman Foster and the wider design team. The club’s members were also welcomed to the new facility which takes its inspiration from traditional sailing vessels and integrates sustainable design principles throughout.
Referred to by the practice as ‘a celebration of sailing’, the Yacht Club de Monaco rises on the waterfront through a series of terraces that resemble decks, offering far-reaching views out to sea and inland to the nearby Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. Lord Foster said: “The building is a little like a city in microcosm, with schools, parks, offices, restaurants, a network of interior circulation ‘streets’ and a hierarchy of public and private, social and functional spaces.
“It is a continuation of Monaco’s dense urban fabric, as well as the Yacht Club’s traditions and will be an important part of civic life. Every child in Monaco learns sailing at some stage during their education and those lessons will be in the new building - as a result, the Yacht Club will become even more rooted, in a public sense, in the Principality and part of its cultural and urban fabric.”
Club members enter the facility through a glazed courtyard to be greeted by a wide range of social and sporting amenities which reflect the heritage of this elite organisation. Deck two features an open-air swimming pool, bar and club room, all to be enjoyed exclusively by club members, while the next level hosts executive offices, double-height function space and ‘cabins’ for visiting guests. Event spaces are located on the uppermost floors.
As Nigel Dancey, Senior Partner at Foster + Partners explains, sustainability played a key role in the design of the Yacht Club de Monaco: “With all of our projects, our approach to sustainability is to maximise the natural advantages of the local climate, while mitigating its extremes. We have also used locally sourced or recycled materials.
Our starting point for the Yacht Club was extensive analysis of the climate and the way that the different spaces are used. Photovoltaic cells and solar thermal panels convert Monaco’s sunshine to energy, while the sea water is used for cooling and the facades can open completely to allow natural ventilation. To provide shade in the summer, there are sail-like canopies - a reference to the nautical traditions that Monaco is famous for.”