The Architecture of Seaside Florida
The beauty of Seaside Florida architecture lies in its versatile appeal. Every community adds its unique style to the outstanding 18-mile coastline. Going through scenic Highway 30A is like going through an entire small world when it comes to architecture. There are many apparent influences of various architectural styles. You’ll see residences and buildings inspired by Bermuda, the Caribbean, the Adirondacks, Nantucket, and more. Let’s take a more detailed look at the origins of the now world-famous Seaside architecture.
The Origins of Seaside Architecture
The architecture style of the world-famous communities of Seaside Fl has an impressive depth that goes way beyond simple versatility. Over the decades, designers and developers have been creating architectural styles that were entirely appropriate for the time and place of the creation.
Although it initially grew out of local needs at the time being, the Seaside architectural style has grown into a unique picturesque. Most early buildings in America were designed and created by folk who weren’t precisely professional architects. A majority of them haven’t had any formal architecture training. Often, they followed the aesthetic and structural concepts that were already traditional in the region. The early builders used to follow practices that worked well for other people. In today’s architectural world, this style is called vernacular architecture.
However, industrialization eclipsed tradition over the years. The world has seen significant changes in building methods and materials and communication and transportation developments. They’ve enabled people to break free from dependence on local resources, including materials, heating, and cooling practice. Also, the builders started incorporating various styles instead of just sticking to local traditions. Architecture started intersecting with fashion and style, which resulted in waves of great architectural wonders throughout U.S. history. From strict federal style in the late 1700s to Modern style in the mid-’90s, the Seaside has embraced them all.
Many Seaside communities have adopted a single building style. Incorporating a distinguished style in a neighborhood is an excellent marketing tool. Essentially, it gives the buyer a strong sense of what he is purchasing. These communities assure that all neighbors will build to the same level of quality and use the exact theme for aesthetics.
However, back in 1980, when settlers founded Grayton Beach, the builders had nothing but a tradition for guidance. The community’s oldest cottages are the closest to original vernacular architecture in the area. You can see the reflections of the practical concerns of that era if you take a close look at the cottages. Today, they stand among newer, modern homes in various styles influenced by worldwide architecture.
Contemporary structures have become the norm by the time settlers founded Seagrove Beach in 1949. While many of the residences still echoed influences from the vernacular architecture style, new builders also started incorporating modern concepts.
Since its foundation in 1981, Seaside communities have changed in many remarkable ways, architecture included. The distinguished Seaside style has been extremely influential over the decades across many coastal communities. The earliest houses were a mix of vernacular design and Key West style, but that’s far from being the entire story. The Seaside code was a profoundly influential aspect of the area’s architecture because it set clear rules for building within the community. It requires specific materials and features, mostly for keeping the style appropriate with local conditions. However, the area features versatile residences, and you can see anything from traditional to high-end contemporary designs. Seaside was the first to include a “town architect” responsible for approving any new residence designs.
Settlers founded Rosemary Beach in 1995, and the gorgeous area reflects a specific pivotal moment for the architecture in the area. Instead of replicating the distinguished Seaside style, the builders wanted something different and more serious. Although they found their inspiration in the Seaside structures, they took a different approach and adopted a specific colonial Caribbean concept that has later become a recognized 30A architectural style.
Following Rosemary Beach, other communities have started adapting specific styles, but they always stayed within their boundaries. Rosemary Beach is versatile to a certain degree, but none of the remaining districts have the wide variety Seaside has.
Alys Beach takes the coast architectural style to an entirely new level. Creating architecture that’s a hybrid of various features and techniques from distant locations, the builders created a wonderful, versatile community that looks like a mix of the Mediterranean, Spanish, Greek, Caribbean, Guatemalan, and Moorish design. Although it may seem like a crazy mix of styles that wouldn’t work well together, the aesthetics and functionality make perfect sense for the town. Its construction can withstand harsh natural elements similarly to hurricane-prone Bermuda.
The designers find their inspiration in Guatemalan courtyards and create majestic outdoor spaces that reflect an ideal outdoor-indoor synergy across entire estates.
Source: The Architects Diary