For those of us who live on the Maine coast, as well as those who come back year after year, the shore is a magical place. I hear stories from retirees about spending their youth walking carefree along the coast, looking for seaglass or observing the ecology of the intertidal zone. I remember doing the same thing. When I see kids on their bikes coming back from a day on the shore, a string tugs at me.
When we were provided the opportunity to design a new pavilion for Frenchman Bay Conservancy, the design brief was really to replace a seasonal building and to provide a backdrop for summer music concerts. These two program requirements were compelling enough, but I wanted to do something more. I wanted to capture the way a kid might think about the shore. Given a whole day to spend in front of the ocean, what do children do?
I developed an image in my mind of sand dunes marching to the sea. There might be grasses, and there might be driftwood laying about. Why not build a fort?
Thus, this project became an effort to translate the magical experience of being a couple of kids staking their claim on a sand dune by building a rudimentary shelter. Hopefully this project gives adults an opportunity to relive this.
The pavilion is approximately 540 square feet, enclosed in an ellipse of structural columns and glass. The column locations are rationalized for the roof framing. While our CAD software is capable of identifying coordinate locations along an ellipse, we dug back to high school math to use the general formula for mapping an ellipse.