The Woman Behind The Man Behind The Gherkin

gherkin.jpgWe’d never quite bought the whole “behind every possibly misunderstood and apparently genius architect man is an equally misunderstood but very savvy not-architect woman” until we had the [REDACTED] fortune of interviewing Danny. Through, of course, Nina. Still, we thought, it made sense that architects’ wives were generally in the background, but still involved, handling the business side of things and fending off wannabe reporters while their husbands spent time drawing things like flying birds and train stations.

Which is why we were psyched to find out that Lady Foster, Norman’s third wife, is launching a magazine, C, which costs thirty-seven GBP and has a lot of pictures. The Observer’s Deyan Sudjic hangs out with Elena Ochea, who he describes as avoiding “the conventional career pattern for architects’ wives.” She sounds like a doozy:

It would be more than enough to sink a less determined woman, but Ochoa, great-granddaughter of one of the generals responsible for crushing the anarchist rising in the Asturias in the run-up to the Spanish civil war, takes celebrity in her stride. She was an academic psychologist specialising in sexuality with a high media profile in her native Spain–largely based on getting the Spanish to talk about sex on her television show, and ignoring the taboos about discussing Aids–when she married Foster 10 years ago. She is still famous enough there to attract the attention of the paparazzi. The Madrid tabloids compare her marriage with Foster to that of the Beckhams.

Hm. Kinda explains the Gherkin.