When I bought Lady Lucy her hull was rotten. We had to buy some trees from Borneo, dry them out for a year and then apply them to the boat’s hull in thin mahogany strips. We laid one “sking of planks diagonally across the hull and then another skin in the opposite direction. It took two years.
At the same time, Sir Norman Foster’s gherkin was being constructed replicating the sweeping curves of Lady Lucy and attaining its beautiful rigidity through the same technique of “double diagonal” cladding.
As I sit at my desk, I look at the gherkin which is about 50 yards from me. Lady Lucy sits in the mill pond at Hurley. I have never thought much about construction- I am no engineer. But I’m fascinated by these beautiful curves and the strength they supply.
Are there any architects out there who know whether Foster was inspired by traditional boatcraft?