Friday, December 02, 2005

Mar Vista Residence








Octal Kahn's Mar Vista Residence (Shamrock 55, 155) is another highly realistic build worthy of consideration. When compared to the Slightly Droog home the texturing is subtle, but closer inspection reveals that not a single surface has been untouched by additional prims intended to enhance the geometry in terms of light and shadow. Particular attention has been paid to the manner in which the recessed lighting fixtures add a wash of light on the walls, as well as to the intersections between vertical and horizontal surfaces that typically receive less illumination. The resultant sense of volume is perhaps even more pronounced than that of the Slightly Droog Home as one expends less visual energy concentrating on the photographic nature of a heavily textured surface, leaving greater opportunity to comprehend its volumetric qualities. The spatial nature of the house as a container is reinforced by the exquisite detailing of the objects contained within, including furnishings, appliances, equipment and yes, even plumbing :)

The build is a faithful recreation of Octal's RL home designed by mid-century modernist Gregory Ain and is presented as a kind of archeological artifact, complete with removable roof and interpretive center-style signage outside the driveway. This sense of removal is heightened by its disconnection with the surrounding context, as the build sits on a block and is sited several meters below the grade of the adjacent roadway that runs through the sim. As well, there have been no deviations from the purity of the reconstruction made in the name of typical scaling and camera issues, and oddly enough one could suggest the required switch to mouselook seems to heighten this sense of a place removed from everyday SL existence, representing a curious juxtaposition of how the third-person view is seen as more indicative of 'direct' experience.

As an aside, the whole thing strangely parallels an RL visit to the work of one of Gregory Ain's better known contemporaries, Rudolph Schindler. The Schindler House has been decommissioned as a functioning residence and is now home to the MAK Centre for Art and Architecture, a North American offshoot of the MAK in Vienna. While there I encountered an installation whereby one of the rooms of the house was completely covered in white foamboard, a material traditionally used in architectural models, essentially turning the entire area into a full scale abstraction. This sudden grinding of my cognitive gearbox forced a similar yet opposite transition, from first person to third, and all of a sudden by standing in a 1:1 scale model the architectural artifact became more real.

So my sincere thanks to you Octal, for creating this seam in my space-time continuum, and for keeping your bathroom so clean.

Update: Nearly one year later the Mar Vista Residence is still standing, and continues to impress. Check out Hamlet Au's feature on it as a part of his 'The World From My Window' series over at New World Notes.

1 Comments:

At 10/17/2006 12:13 PM, Blogger Torley said...

This build still blows my mind to this day, and so does the accompanying writeup you did, Chip. =D

 

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