In December 2020 I picked up the CONVAIR Bridge House by Tobias Convair for use on our main island home in Second Norway (see: A Bridge House in Second Life). It’s a nice looking house with a good internal layout and it fits well with the Second Norway environment, having something of a Scandinavian feel.
It is also a design that gave me something of a taste for CONVAIR builds. So when we recently visited The Redwoods (see: Exploring The Redwoods of Second Life) and saw another CONVAIR build being used as the park lodge, I started getting the itch to see how well it might fit as yet another alternative for our house – and as it turns out, it does so fairly well.
The design in question is the Edelweiss Chalet, a two-storey design with wood exterior and exposed beams and woodwork inside. Unfurnished at purchase, it is priced at L$2,200 both in-world and on the Marketplace, and is supplied Copy and Modify. While delivered boxed, it doesn’t come with a rezzer. Instead, the entire 99 LI building is a single item that can be pulled out of inventory and positioned as required.
The layout comprises a single large main room on the ground floor with two smaller rooms at one end. the upper floor area is split between a bedroom and gallery overlooking the main room and one end and reached via a staircase, with a loft-like space accessed via a ladder located at the other end of the house. This sits over a broad verandah that also continues along the length of one side of the house.
This verandah is one of the attractions of the house. As it is raised on stilts, the house can sit partially over water, making the long arm of the verandah – with suitable modification – ideal for mooring boats.
Having said that, the slits were something we needed at Isla Caitinara, as the water’s edge there is sufficiently elevated. This allowed me to locate the house at ground level, the verandah neatly forming a part of the existing moorings while also allowing me to remove the eternal steps leading up to the verandah and to the two doors leading into the house on the other side, together with their attendant transparent prims. Making the space available to boats was then a simple matter of removing the railings guarding the edge of the verandah.
In terms of living space, this is a house that really has a lot to offer: the main room has plenty of space for use as a living / dining / kitchen area, as I hope the slideshow above demonstrates. The two additional downstairs rooms could be used as a separate bathroom and toilet or as a small bathroom / toilet and second bedroom. The upstairs bedroom has a reasonable amount of space, although given the slope of the ceilings, fitting taller furnishings might be a little difficult.
I particularly like the gallery overlooking the main room; this both offers a lower ceiling for a kitchen area helping to make it feel cosier, whilst also offering a nice location for one of my pianos so that it isn’t crowding out the main room – but the space could just as easily be a little office area or similar. Across the main room, the “loft space” is similarly very flexible – it could be a little reading space with books or – as we’ve done, a little snuggle spot, made warmer through the addition of a wood-burning stove that uses the main fireplace flue.
That said there are a few niggles with the build. There is a slight over-reliance in the use of transparent prims. The main floor,for example, uses a mesh and two transparent prims – so why not simply forego the former and make the latter visible and texture hem? That’s what I did. The use of baked shadows can also be an annoyance when modding the build. Again, replacing the main floor solved this in part, although I had to retexture the exterior walls in order to get rid of other nuisances. Finally, some of the textures are disappointingly blurred: I’m still fiddling with options to replace the texture used for the wooden beams.
Fortunately, there aren’t insurmountable problems; as noted above, I solved them easily enough, allowing for fixing the texture blurring. I will admit I felt this let what is otherwise a very capable and worthwhile design down. certainly, the interior mesh faces are more than sufficient to allow comfortable re-decorating of the walls if you wish (I did!), and as noted you get a good deal of space in which to make a home – indoors and out.