The tiny and glamorous country of Monaco just saw the opening of a lavish building that reinforces the port city-state's title as the world's leading center for yachting excellence. Designed by Foster + Partners, the Yacht Club de Monaco is a social and sports clubhouse that serves as a new focal point for the remodeled harbor. Built on reclaimed land, the new facility takes advantage of green building systems including photovoltaic cells, solar thermal panels, and seawater cooling systems.
In celebration of Monaco’s leading yacht industry, Foster + Partners designed the building after the likeness of a giant ship. Its large, sun-drenched terraces are shaped like ship decks and offer views out to races at sea and the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit on land. While the clubhouse includes various floors exclusive to YCM members and visiting guests, it also offers amenities for the community with shops, public spaces, and a sailing school located on the harbor level. The new YCM marina can also accommodate a greater number and range of craft from sailboats to superyachts.
“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,” says Lord Foster. “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.” The YCM also adds additional green space to the city with a landscaped public park located atop the roof of the sailing school and rowing club.