In a remarkably candid interview, world-renowned architect Norman Foster has revealed fascinating insights into the inspiration behind his most iconic buildings.
A favourite with Londoners and visitors alike, No.30 St Mary Axe, popularly known as 'The Gherkin', is an instantly recognisable feature of the London skyline. Lord Foster says that he based the landmark design on Lady Foster's dildo.
'During a particularly energetic bout of love-making, Lady F whipped out her rabbit 'Mr Flopsy' and it hit me right between the eyes; I thought it would be just the thing to stick up in the middle of the City.' he recalls. 'When a critic at the time said it was 'not so much an axe as a chopper', little did he know how right he was!'
'Originally, the concept was to have the tower vibrate. But we couldn't get large enough batteries.'
The refreshingly unpretentious Stockport-born heir to the mantle of Sir Christopher Wren goes on to detail more surprising muses behind his other iconic erections.
Home to the Mayor of London and the London Assembly, London City Hall on the South Bank is, he says, based on a 'Slinky' helical spring toy he had as a child. The Torre Caja in Madrid took its inspiration from a used ribbed condom, 'Strawberry flavour', adds Foster, and Berlin's Reichstag dome was modelled on 'a particularly truculent boil the wife had on her bum'.
Perhaps the most penetrating insight into this modern day guru's methodology comes with the revelations that The Sage Gateshead, was 'modelled on my cock', and the Al Faisaliyah Center in Riyadh is 'an exact replica of a shit I did during an aggressive attack of piles.'
Baron Foster of Thames Bank is 77.