Building (Moore) Castles in the Sand

It was a damp and cloudy day and the Centerbrook quartet ⎯ Russell Learned, Melissa Kops, Aaron Emma, and I, plus assorted spouses and children ⎯ was putting the finishing touches on our eclectic Sand Castle à la Moore when disaster struck. The cookie crumbled, so to speak.

With just two minutes left before the judging in the prestigious, first annual “SandStruction Competition,” a design/build beach exercise sponsored by AIA Connecticut, a portion of said sand castle collapsed.

Our first reaction was utter despair. But then we asked ourselves, “What would the late Charles W. Moore, the man whose sketches inspired our design, have done at a time like this?” And the answer was clear: “Get all kinds of collaborative, and fast!”

So we did ⎯ and we made the necessary repairs with 30 seconds to spare!

Despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered by our competitors, our team captured first prize, a decidedly off-the-rack plastic spray-painted “Gold Bucket.”

This damp drama (the drizzle actually helped solidify our monument to Moore) was part of the recent Savin Rock Festival at West Haven Beach. It is not often that architects have an audience, and we showed off our penchant for using indigenous sustainably-sourced materials (to wit: sand and seashells by the seashore).

A big “shout out” to Frank Russo of our longtime client Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Frank gave us numerous helpful tips.