A Timeless Beauty
S SOON AS ANDREW SKURMAN SAW the simple drawing, he knew he’d found what he was looking for. Sketched by the architect Vitruvius more than 2,000 years ago, the image depicted a perfectly proportioned ancient Roman temple.
Skurman, an architect based in San Francisco, had been combing the archives for a classical structure to serve as inspiration for a rotunda to crown The Resort at Pelican Hill.® Vitruvius provided the answer.
Today, the Pelican Hill Rotunda is one of the iconic structures overlooking the California coast. Its classical roots can be seen in the soaring dome and precisely tapered columns, while the glazed terracotta tiles that frame the ocean-to-sky backdrop is pure Pelican Hill.®
“The Rotunda feels like it was made for this landscape; so classical and so distilled,” Skurman said. “It’s almost like an engagement ring that’s slipped onto a beautiful finger.”
Skurman and his team took a scholarly approach to the design of not only the Rotunda but the Resort as a whole, drawing significantly on the work of Andrea Palladio, a 16th-century Italian architect. A student of ancient Roman architecture, Palladio carried forward the principles first espoused by architects like Vitruvius.
The Rotunda’s grace makes it an idyllic spot for some of Pelican Hill’s most memorable celebrations. Perched on a gentle rise and set slightly apart from the Resort’s main structures, there is arguably no better place to be married. Couples may not be acquainted with the Rotunda’s architectural provenance, but they nevertheless feel the significance of its connection to the land.
“I don’t have to say much when I take couples out to see it,” said Fernanda Jaime, director of weddings and social events at The Resort at Pelican Hill. “The panoramic Pacific Ocean view is so calming that it brings you peace. I actually walk out there every morning. It takes your breath away.”