Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion, Gulf Shores, AL


What a beautiful pavilion the State of Alabama has.  I had seen this structure before while visiting the beach and never had a chance to stop by to study it until last week while on an assignment in Mobile.  It is really a great public space. Not only is it a great space is is a great design.  The focal point of this structure is a large swooping roof that opens largely towards the ocean and then narrows towards the road.  The roof reminds me of a wave moving toward the beach and underneath resembles a clever fish-eye view of a wave.  This shape is so appropriate for this site and it relates to its site with frictionless ease. I have to admit- my first impression was who would build a roof on the beach front that captures wind and risk blowing the darn thing off its foundation but as I sat under the pavilion I recognized the design of the roof channels the sea breeze like a funnel to keep the interior space cool ~ A great example of form and function.

I also appreciate the horizontal layout of the design as it clearly relates to the Horizon beyond the structure and flat geography on which the pavilion rests.  The vegetation is very natural and I love that the sand dunes around the pavilion are being preserved. The Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion is a very memorable building and I believe a very much needed piece of art for the city and its people in the midst of large and somewhat unattractive, yet functional, condominiums. 

Side note: These were taken with the amazing iPhone.

View from street

Interior space (notice the wave)
Man on right to determine scale

Looking toward Gulf and man to determine scale

Axis through the pavilion