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Architects and kids team up on epic sandcastles this weekend

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Who says you can’t build quality on sand?

We’re getting a big wave of new beachfront property in the city. It’s all breaking ground on Saturday morning, construction should finish by early afternoon, and then demolition will begin at around high tide.

Despite the various cautionary wisdom about building your house on sand, the arts non-profit Leap Arts has been holding their annual Sandcastle Classic on the shores of Ocean Beach (as a way to raise funds and keep the lights on at Leap) for going on 34 years now, with number 34 scheduled for this coming Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Sandcastle Classic pairs local kids with professional architects, engineers, and contractors to create some decidedly singular sandy designs. Reps from the likes of Perkins + Will, Handel Architects, SOM, and Thing One will be on hand to help the kids with designs and do the final judging.

"We’ll be out there, rain or shine," Leap director Jill Dineen tells Curbed SF. There is a slight chance of showers Saturday morning, but she promises the show will go on one way or another. How do you build a sandcastle in the rain?

"Actually, it helps," says Dineen. "You need wet sand for good sandcastles. Rain gets a lot of your mixing done for you."

This year’s contest maxed out at 30 teams, and has a prescribed theme of "Things and People Who Move Us." Past themes included movies, food, and great monuments. A prevailing leitmotif of giant, slightly freaky looking sea creatures appears to be common regardless of the year’s theme. Check out some of the final products from the past couple of years below.