All change…again…

Yep…I’ve moved. Again.

Santos Isle, the last home location was comfortable, but suffered in two major respects: it was east facing (and I prefer sunsets to sunrises) and the sim itself suffered from the arrival of a *huge* Ozimal bunny farm and a skyhome rental business, both of which impacted the sim – and our privacy – in various adverse ways. Still, when you are opting to live on a unzoned sim, you have to take some of the rough with the smooth.

The new sim is also unzoned, so carries with it some of the same risks inherent with Santos Isle- but its scores in that the parcel is west-facing, and the sim has fewer parcels overall, the majority of which are well-settled.

A third benefit is that the sim is not themed as a sandy tropical island. For me this is important because for a while now I’ve wanted to do something different in terms of living space, and sandy islands, nice though they are, don’t fit the bill environment-wise.

In this latter regard, I have to admit to being influenced by two things: my love for and of Sri Lanka, where a lot of the architecture – particularly as designed by the late Geoffrey Bowa – blends beautifully with the environment (and in some cases works with the environment) – and also the home of my very close friend Ari.

Even so, getting something built at the new place was harder than I’d expected – as several friends are aware. Normally when I have an idea for a place it’s move in, build, settle. No this time: after moving on a Sunday, it was not until the following Wednesday night that I finally got things sorted to a point where I feel comfortable with the new home; in between lay close to 20 builds that were started and abandoned as I tried to make what I had in mind fit the irregular shape of the new parcel.

The new layout features a couple of houses – one for myself, one for Kelly and Vina – and this time I’ve been able to work in some other features I’ve missed recently from other homes in SL – notably a pool area and a “dance floor”.

The houses are an identical build – possibly the first development of an idea I still have in the back of my mind and have yet to achieve – and draw heavily on the aforementioned influences from both Sri Lanka and Ari’s own home, from which I’ve borrowed the same basic concept, and very much hope she won’t mind me doing so; this is the first build I’ve made in SL that is so clearly drawn from the work of another builder.

The house is a simple split-level affair, built back into a hill, with the emphasis on blending with the surroundings. Finished in natural woods and more earthy colours and draped with vines, the house has an open aspect lounge area with a staircase leading to a galleried bedroom. Windows are entirely absent from the build, leaving it open to the  wooded surroundings, which I hope – as with Ari’s design from which this is drawn, gives an entirely natural feel – albeit one with more “traditional” living than her own outstanding build, which draws nature directly into the house itself.

The Sri Lankan influence is present in that many hotels and houses there have similar areas that are both open to the surrounding environs, while maintaining a high level of comfort for those using them – and I was hard-pushed not to include a “traditional” Sri Lankan-style open shower area that I’ve enjoyed in places such as the Deer Park and Saman Villas.

A more obvious Sri Lankan influence – or more correctly, a small homage to Geoffrey Bowa  – is in the “infinity”-style swimming pool I added to the west edge of the land. I first encountered such a pool at the magnificent Kandalama Hotel, near Dambulla in February 2000; and quickly learned that such pools  – whether for swimming or as ornamental focal points – are a trademark feature of Bowa designs across the island. It’s always something I’ve wanted to re-create in-world, if only on a personal level, and I’ve rather pleased with the way this particular pool turned out…

Alongside the pool, set back into the treeline, is something else I’ve missed from recent SL homes: a modest dance area. Comprising a flat rock, with lanterns hanging from overhead branches, and spacing hopefully suited to camming, this is a part of the new home that I very much hope will see a lot of use in the future; a place for friends to come and socialise, dance and / or relax around the pool.

While it didn’t turn out entirely as I’d planned, the new place is very much “home” now – the balance of openness an, natural appearance and privacy seems to be about right. I’m certainly very happy with how things have (eventually) turned out, and I very much hope that those who had to endure four days of me  bashing my head on the desk and being “too busy” for much else will equally enjoy the results of my growling….

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