Renzo Piano is most famous for the Pompidou in Paris, the Shard in London, and more recently, the timeless Valetta City Gate in Malta. However, come summer, it seems the Italian designer is a sucker for sandcastles as much as the rest of us, as he explained to The Guardian's Rosanna Greenstreet. Of course, as an architect, Piano knows such things cannot be whimsically constructed without a gret deal of precision and forethought, and he's outlined the 4 key steps to create a little icon on the beachfront. Read on and create your own piece of sandy perfection...
1. Be clear about the fact that building a sandcastle is a totally useless operation. Don’t expect too much; it’s going to disappear, mainly because there’s no point making the castle too far away from the sea. A sandcastle’s relationship to water is more important than its appearance. Study the waves, then decide where to position your castle – too low on the shoreline and the sea will immediately destroy it, too high and you have no waves to flirt with. It sounds complicated but it’s simple and instinctive.
2. Start to dig a ditch where the waves have made the sand wet. Use your hands. Build the sand up to create the mass of the castle, which is really a little mountain with an incline of, ideally, 45°. You don’t need the ditch to be more than 30cm deep and 45cm wide, and the castle should be about 60cm tall.
3. Make an entrance in the ditch for the sea to enter. The magic moment is when the waves come and the ditch becomes a moat. If the castle is in a good position, you can watch the water ebbing and flowing for 10 or 15 minutes. To capture the image in your memory quickly, close your eyes when the water comes in.
4. Then put a little flag or anything else you can find on the sandcastle, just to make it visible to people running on the beach. Go home and don’t look back.