The Principality of Monaco has had a long association with sailing and, due to its prestigious international inhabitants, is home to probably one of the richest yacht clubs in the world. Some would say that this project was long overdue but the new yacht club headquarters is now a fitting embodiment of its illustrious roll-call of members and their yachts.
The truly beautiful building is from the drawing boards of the famous architects office of Lord Norman Foster whose former projects have included Standstead airport, Hong Kong airport and the Millennium Bridge in London amongst a myriad of world famous projects. Local architect Alexandre Giraldi also collaborated on the project.
Lord Foster was on hand in person for the inauguration celebrations and explained the elegant design as being "completely open to the sea, in the heart of the port", a building that is communicating with the city and maintaining a traditional spirit. He referred to the building as a "free spirit".
It certainly looks as if it could spring free from its moorings at any minute as the building appears to float on the dockside like the most majestic Super Yacht yet seen by the city.
The inauguration event took place over the whole weekend and was in attendance by all of Monaco's Royal family as well as many dignitaries. Princess Charlene stole the show as the mum-to-be was ethereally radiant.
Prince Albert is a huge supporter of all things sporting and he is keen to promote the Principality as a centre of excellence in many arenas. Sailing being an obvious and traditional one for the Principality. "We affirm the identity of Monaco Yachting and we wanted to mark it by this architectural gesture whose ambition is to continue to guide our country towards the sea."
The celebrations continued over the weekend with sailing events stretching throughout the day from the prestigious Rolex cup Giraglia, to classic yachts and powerboaters.