Norman Foster Builds the Ultimate Yacht Club in Monaco

The famed English architect’s new Port Hercules masterpiece is the best place on Earth for sailors to watch F1.

Port Hercules, the deep water harbor considered by many to be the world capital of yachting, finally has the White House it deserves. Norman Foster’s new Yacht Club de Monaco, officially opened by Sovereign Prince Albert II, now presides over the schooner and motor yacht-packed docks. Like Foster’s previous works – Wembley Stadium is the most similar – the building, inspired by pilot houses, is deceptively simple and striking. But the rounded, layered exterior gives way to club rooms, “cabins” for guests, a pool fit for royalty (and royalty’s dates), and the F1 Paddock Club, which looks out over the Monaco Grand Prix pit lanes. Foster’s eye-catching addition actually improves Monte Carlo’s already striking shoreline. That’s no easy trick.

The new club looks out over the super yachts that dot Port Hercules. At first glance, the building actually looks like one of them. 

The bottom floors of club contain rowing and sailing schools. The docks aren’t just for sunbathing; captains and crew teams keep busy.

The terraced decks offer harbor and Grand Prix track views. 

The main staircase showcases Norman Foster’s trademark curves.

The club’s interiors are plush and quiet – except the F1 lounge, which is plush and loud.

Photos by Via Foster + Partners