Of Sky Towers and SL homes

In the sandbox: building a Sky Tower inspired home

As I’ve noted in assorted posts in these pages, I’m a bit of a science fiction fan – books, television and film. In particular in this case, I have a fascination with the 2013 Tom Cruise vehicle, Oblivion, a film that seems to fit in the “Marmite zone” – you either love it or hate it.

For me, the film has a pretty good storyline (if a bit overblown in places), an outstanding soundtrack by M83, Anthony Gonzales, Joseph Trapanese (that I’m listening to right now), and one of the most intriguing house designs seen in a film: the Sky Tower.

“Sky Tower” interior – trying to make it more of a contemporary home than “hard” sci-fi environment

Given my cursory interest in architecture and house design, I’ve always found the Sky Tower fascinating – particularly given the lengths the film crew went to make it. While there are a couple of commercial builds available in SL based on it, I’ve long wanted to see if I can take some of the core elements in the design and create a contemporary home that contains those elements, but moves the house out of hard-edged sci-fi and into something that could provide a comfortable living space.

I first entertained the idea well over a year ago and started on a design, but shelved it in a rezzer. However, it kept nagging at me, so over the last 10 days, I’ve been fiddling with it as time allows to see if I could build it out as a house that might sit within our current Balboa Estate home parcel.

The kitchen area with bedroom behind (beyond the smoked glass windows

The work isn’t finished yet, but the photos here give some idea of what I’ve been doing. The house intentionally doesn’t include the distinctive upper “Control” deck of the Sky Tower in the film, and while I’ve tried to retain some of the interior and exterior elements – the “back room” area (now converted to a bedroom space) and the iconic landing pad and “sky pool”, I’ve also done away with the workshop space sitting under the main house.

Unlike the film’s Sky Tower, this one isn’t intended to sit atop a 1,000ft tall tower. Rather, it is designed to sit between the “north” and “south” islands of our current home space, elevated above the water by a pylon structure I’ve yet to complete, and with moorings for boats and planes at water level below it. All of this is still to be finalised, as have the interior / exterior furnishings, fixtures and texturing, but these photos should give an idea of the overall look.

The design isn’t intended to replicate the full Sky Tower design – no upper deck Control unit, for example) and so has a “side entrance” and steps (foreground) that will connect it to one of the home islands

This isn’t intended to be a commercial build, but purely for personal use as an alternative to our current Fallingwater-inspired house. If all goes according to plan, the two houses will be “hot swappable” via rezzing systems and depending on which we fancy having in place at any given time of year.

I’ll probably bore you with more on this once the house is more in situ in our home parcel 🙂 . In the meantime, a nice little video of the original Sky Tower from the film.

5 thoughts on “Of Sky Towers and SL homes

  1. Didn’t particularly love the film but still remember the skytower home kinda fondly. Always thought hey, I could live in that. 😉

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  2. I LOVE this movie and will watch it whenever it comes on without fail. Wouldn’t you think about selling that Inara? I’m sure there are tons of fans of the movie who would want it, me included. Just like the Firefly and Star Trek ships for example. I wish someone would build updates of those.

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    1. Well, much as I’d love to build and sell the design, this version has a lot of pre-fab fixtures and elements from creators I’m re-purposing for my own use, so these would have to be replaced with custom animations systems, etc., in order to be transferable. More to the point, Universal + the various production houses involved in Oblivion hold the IP rights to the film + the designs used, I don’t. So while I’m comfortable creating this for myself, I’m not comfortable in offering a commercial variant. That said, there are a couple of version available on the Marketplace (as per the article).

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