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Architect Renzo Piano has designed the 87-floor Shard skyscraper in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the new home for the Whitney Museum in New York. The Pritzker Prize winner even has a number of ideas for the future of Europe's cities.
But there have been plenty of Piano-planned structures you probably don't know about. And with good reason: They've all washed away.
Piano confessed his lifelong love of sandcastles in The Guardian recently, offering a few choice words of wisdom to follow in constructing your own. In a conversation with NPR's Scott Simon, he explains what drew him to the ephemeral art, what it can teach architects and, of course, a few things to keep in mind while getting started — this one more than most:
"You don't make a sandcastle to fight against anybody," he says. "You just flirt with the waves. That is the reason why you make a sandcastle."
On how to build the best sandcastle
First you have to stand on the shoreline. You have to stand on the sand. And you have to watch carefully while the waves come. ...
It's fundamentally about then digging a little ditch, around the little mountain with your lines. Then you open a little door to the waves. And this is where the fun starts, because then the waves come in the ditch.