Thursday, October 27, 2005

Waterfront Residence, Ravenglass








While we are on the subject of waterfront builds, I thought it might be interesting to contrast Cottonteil Muromachi's build in Carnforth with Almarea Lumiere's residence in Ravenglass (Ravenglass 97,137), which takes a vastly opposed, but equally well-expressed approach to waterfront living.

Rather than being precariously perched on a tentative structure, the 'L' shaped build is nestled at the bottom of an alcove and decidedly 'grounded' on a set of massive stone piers that have been carefully articulated to express a narrative idea of being quarried out in large blocks and transported to the site. Arising from this foundation is a clear structural frame with wood and glass infill panels, completing a legible hierarchy of massive and light elements that imparts a sense of balance and repose suggestive of a certain lifestyle that is a juxtaposition from the dynamism and instability of Cottonteil's build. This idea is reinforced by the understated entrance to the build, a simple hole in the wall of the tall space at the knuckle of the 'L'.

The care that the builder has taken to create a substantial example of the manner in which architecture is capable of inflecting upon a lifestyle is to some degree irrespective of a broader debate about the purpose of residential builds in general. The furnishings in the build are sparse to the point of questioning how much time the resident might actually be spending there. That said, this build is perhaps the only one that I have seen in my brief travels so far (be it residential, commercial, or otherwise) that is truly enriched by virtue of the fact that it is sited on a body of water, as one enjoys not only the views of it afforded by the interior but also the experience of spelunking around on the outside between the piers and under the floor plate.

In fact, the spaces around this build are as important as those in Cottonteil's build, however rather than acting as an well-defined analogue or 'frame' to the interior, it is the unscripted, unprogrammed potentialities of these spaces that enhance the nature of dwelling in those areas which are intentionally constructed and rationally planned, whatever it may be.

2 Comments:

At 10/30/2005 8:57 PM, Blogger Lordfly Digeridoo said...

I'm surprised that house is still up. I built it over a year ago for Prok's Ravenglass project. Good to know it's still out there. I see the other two homes have since been removed, if I'm not mistaken.

thanks for reviewing it :)

--Lordfly Digeridoo

 
At 11/11/2005 7:41 AM, Blogger Prokofy Neva said...

Since I did originally commission this build and 2 others by Lordfly, allow me to comment. Originally, Lordfly's concept was three stone houses, all different, all treating the problems of how to stay on untampered waterfront. I was obsessive with my first sim and refused to terraform it or remove trees from its original pristine "nature" (or at least "Nature" as defined by Eric Linden). I even made Lordfly build over trees, and carefully plucked out each one. The ground remained "as is" which was an excellent sculpture in itself of little eddies and stones and sun reflections happening, usually not seen in Linden sims these days, as they just don't have the time they used to have to make these sims works of art.

I love looking at this remaining building too, and am very glad it remains as a testament to the original vision. The problem is that the person doesn't live in it. That may due to just not being in SL any more, but in fact I think she is, so I do wonder: can you live in architectural sculptures?

The first buyer of the second Lordfly home fell in love with the stone and the lines but felt compelled to modify it with terraces and pools -- many are not content to live on waterfront itself but still want an artificial pool. This house was sold eventually at an excellent price, but curiously, the next owner opted simply to pocket it and put out a prefab. This reality of simkind always perplexes me, but unless I was to maintain authoritarian rule over Ravenglass and *make* people stay in the houses there, I couldn't really intervene.

Then there was the third house which never sold. It was too hard to enter -- the door was hard to find, the ceiling low, the rooms not tintable. I loved this house and even refrained from selling the land just to keep that house on there for the longest time. Finally, I realized I was subsidizing a museum for a sculpture, not helping a residential zoned sim. Reluctantly, I inventoried it, then later modified it with tinting where it rented on another sim.

 

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