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Gateways to the Beach - Coleman Pavilion

Posted on Jul 02, 2018 in Pavilions , Coleman Pavilion , July–August 2018 , Gateways to the Beach

SEASIDE®’s beach pavilions are a special part of the town’s design by Wendy O. Dixon

The Seaside beach pavilions, dotted along the south side of each of Seaside’s streets, are an integral part of the town’s unique design, and reflect the visions of the award-winning architects who designed them. Three of Seaside’s pavilions, situated in the center of town, are accessible to the public (Seaside Pavilion, Coleman Pavilion and Mohney Pavilion). The remaining nine private pavilions are available for homeowners and Seaside guests. As a continuing series, The Seaside Times explores each pavilion’s unique features and the architects who designed them.

Coleman Pavilion, built 1991-1996 Architect: David Coleman

Perhaps the most recognized pavilion in Seaside, the Coleman pavilion serves as the gateway to the beach from the town center. Located in the midst of the shops and restaurants on the gulf side of town, the pavilion is an icon for Seaside, and a prime location for a photo op. At Christmastime, the pavilion is adorned with thousands of lights to show off its architectural details and light up the town.

As the architect of the pavilion, David Coleman describes it as follows:

It is set on a bluff 20 feet above the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The tower is designed to mark a point along the beach and to provide full accessibility by way of its monumental stair and switchback ramp. It possesses a unique spatial quality that transforms its elemental expression and monumental scale. From the distance, one reads a monolithic form. As one enters the tower, its solidity melts away and is replaced by a feeling of lightness and shade. At night, internal lighting renders the tower’s skin transparent, causing a radical transition in its formal dynamic as day turns to night and night to day.

The Coleman Pavilion has been featured in the New York Times, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Parallel Utopias: Sea Ranch & Seaside, and the book “Seaside: Making a Town in America.” Coleman won the The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Washington Architecture and the AIA Northwest & Pacific Honor Award for the pavilion.