A Timeless Beauty

When Andrew Skurman saw the simple drawing, he knew it was something special. Sketched by the architect Vitruvius more than 2,000 years ago, it depicted a temple in ancient Rome. Its proportions were perfect. Skurman, an architect based in San Francisco, had been looking for the right classical structure to serve as inspiration for the rotunda that would sit perched above the Pacific Ocean at Pelican Hill®. In Vitruvius’ sketch, he found it.

Today, the rotunda is becoming one of the most iconic structures on the California coast – the perfect marriage of classical design and modern California style. The rotunda’s classical roots are evident in the soaring dome and precisely tapered columns. The glazed terra-cotta tiles and stunning ocean and sky views are pure Pelican Hill. “It is truly a perfect form in the landscape, so classical and so distilled,” Skurman says. “Almost like an engagement ring on a beautiful woman.”

Skurman and his team took a rigorous and scholarly approach to the design of not only the rotunda, but the entire Resort, drawing most significantly on the work of Andrea Palladio, a 16th century Italian architect. Palladio was a student of ancient Roman architecture, carrying forward the principles first espoused by architects like Vitruvius.

Pelican Hill Wedding

Bleu Cotton Photography Inc.
Bleu Cotton Photography Inc.

Pelican Hill Wedding

The rotunda’s beauty has made it an unforgettable backdrop for Pelican Hill’s® most important celebrations. Set on a picturesque rise slightly apart from the rest of the Resort, it is quite possibly the perfect place to hold a wedding. Although most couples may not be familiar with the rotunda’s architectural provenance, they feel an instant connection to the setting, its drama and simplicity.

Each bride and groom have found a way to make it their own. Some have adorned the elegant columns with fresh flowers, from lush peonies to pastel roses to vivid hydrangeas. One couple suspended oversized crystal chandeliers from the rotunda’s dome. Another hung silk drapes, which fluttered romantically in the ocean breeze, from the rotunda’s perimeter. Yet another hung brightly colored Chinese moon globes from the dome, in every case the results have been breathtaking.

If the rotunda at Pelican Hill were to stand next to the temple depicted by Vitruvius and then another built by Palladio, the three would not look identical but like siblings, each unique to its own century but also strikingly connected. The design is timeless. With every couple, no matter the season or the style of the bridesmaids’ dresses, the setting is always perfect. 

Pelican Hill Rotunda

If you’re interested in having The Resort at Pelican Hill as your wedding destination, or for more information, please visit www.pelicanhill.com/weddings

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