To take a break from scenes of snow and winter, we decided to head over to Grauland and see what region holder JimGarand had put together for December – and as always, we weren’t disappointed with what we found.
Over the years, Jim has never ceased to attract us – and many other visitors – with a series of unique region designs that never fail to offer something new and different, whilst also offering touches that persist between designs to present a sense of continuation from one design to the next.
With this iteration of the region, that continuance can be found through the maze of rooms and half-rooms last seen in the region’s summer looks, and the ranks of concrete blocks that have appeared in a number of the region’s designs.
The maze of rooms is the first element of the design to be encountered from the landing point, which sits on a pier head that thrusts out into the waters on the west side of the region, a crossed archway forming the walk from the pier head and the maze.
Beyond the rooms a series of broken walls form a zig-zag walk for those who fancy it – or visitors can go around this to the north, where they’ll encounter a pattern of “portal blocks” – hollow concrete blocks with circular holes in their six sides, inviting people to walk through them, or head southwards where, a little further inland, stands the rows of concrete blocks, standing close to where steps have been cut into the bare rock of an upland table of rock.
These steps lead up to a most unusual tower that rises from a rough table of rock. apparently made of concrete it raises a single square finger into the air which splits at its top into four arms, each forming an individual room leading off of the central stairwell. As a home, it offers a most unique residence – allowing for its outwardly industrial look. However, here the structure is used as something of an artistic statement – art also being a common theme running through Grauland designs. Each room presents an individual décor from rings of multiple televisions through if not Santa’s grotto, then certain his hi-rise retreat, to a balloon-lovers paradise and a lounge where talking about the elephant in the room is unavoidable.
The tower is not the only structure on the island. Diagonally opposite it to the north-east and also sitting atop a large plateau, is another concrete building. Octagonal in shape, it appears to have a steeply-sloping, sectionalised roof. It is only on reaching it and taking the tunnel and stairs up into it, can it be seen that the building is actually open to the sky above – although what purpose it might be put to – gallery, event centre or even landing pad for some form of space vehicle – is entirely up to the imagination.
Directly south of of this, and also facing the tower is a large studio house with sunken gardens and swimming pool. The courtyard around the pool offers both places to sit and sculptures to be appreciated. A small club house is to one side of the courtyard, a hot tub alongside it, while a A single passage runs directly east to the water’s edge, flanked by further sci-fi elements in the form of strange pods that offer little studio rooms where visitors can relax.
Finished in concrete and stone blocks. and with its outside metal stairways, the studio house continues the industrial theme of the setting, but offers comfortable furnishings within, its southern aspect overlooking a small wild flower garden sitting of a shelf of rock between house and sea.
With boats at the landing point, a little an aged and damaged garden shed sitting to the north-west offering a further unusual hideaway, and seating offered throughout, Grauland invites explorers to wander inland and around its rough coastline (rocky outcrops and cliffs allowing, while its low-laying inland mix of blocks, walls (straight and sinuous) offers an artistic statement in its own right.
Thus, this iteration of Grauland continues the region’s reputation for being an engaging, curious and photogenic visit for all who appreciate exploring Second Life.
- Grauland (Liberia Isle, rated Adult)