An Inverse House in Second Life

inVerse Tarzana the (latest) Pey abode

So yeah; another couple of months have passed, so it’s time for me to play housey again with yet another build for the home island. There were a couple of reasons for this (outside of me wanting to bore you!). The first was that, whilst happy I managed to customise my Fallingwater build such that it “fit” within the island setting, I couldn’t quite get the interior décor to the point where the place felt entirely “right”. The second was that in thumbing through the Marketplace, I happened across the inVerse Tarzana Contemporary House by Novocaine Islay, and it tickled my curiosity enough to have me take a look at it at the inVerse in-world store.

inVerse is not a new brand to SL; I actually have a couple of their houses from long time ago packed away in Inventory, and if I’m honest, their builds can be (for me) a mixed bag, largely because of the use of baked shadows / lighting in some of their older models. However, once I’d seen the Tarzana in-world, I was sufficiently taken by the design’s potential to start mentally ticking through the possibilities as to how it might fit within the home island without me having to necessarily change too much. And given the house is priced at a mere L$349 with Copy / Modify permissions, it wasn’t as if it was going to break the bank if I opted to get it and things didn’t work out.

In fact, the package comes not with one house, but two: a version that is the bare-bones house, and a second that includes furniture and furnishings. Both variants include an outdoor pool and a control centre for lighting, security, privacy, and with a built-in radio that can be used to set music streams via parcel audio. The design of the house is also something that attracted me: it’s pretty well established that I am a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, however, I also appreciate the work of Sir Geoffrey Bawa; and with its cantilevered design and use of wood textures, the Tarzana has hints of both.

inVerse Tarzana

Comprising two large lower / ground floor rooms and three good sized upper rooms, two of which are cantilevered out over the front and one side aspect of the house respectively, and with a neatly stepped roof that avoids it appearing flat and boring, the house offers a layout that gives a good amount of space. In its default rezzing, the house includes a front pool and patio and some outdoor plants, with the patio continuing around one side of the house to the front doors which in turn access one of the two ground-floor rooms. The second on this level room includes a dogleg stairway to the upper floor, and provides adequate room for a kitchen / dining area. Upstairs, the three rooms are arranged so two are in tandem, requiring you pass through one to reach the other, a slightly awkward arrangement, but also a flexible one when it comes to putting the rooms to use.

Given the House is Copy / Mod, a check of the demo at the in-store rez areas confirmed it was also modular enough to probably undergo the kitbashing I wanted to perform – essentially trying to fit the Tarzana into a space created for the Fallingwater house without having to make extensive changes to the existing landscaping. In essence, this meant blending the house with a stream running through the island to the front aspect, and an elevated Zen garden to the rear.

As it turned out, checks on the height of the two floors of the Tarzana quickly confirmed it would pretty much fit as intended, the lower floor rooms sitting just above the waters of the stream, and the upper floors almost perfectly placed to allow access to the raised Zen garden. All that was needed was the replacement of the windows to the back of the lower floor rooms with solid walls, and the addition of new sets of doors on the upper floor to provide the garden access. Fortunately, the landing at the top of the Tarzana’s stairs includes a neat little passageway between it and one of the bedrooms, giving me the perfect place to locate one set of doors, and I worked out it would be possible to add further doors to access the garden from the bedroom pretty easily. So, following a check to confirm the overall modularity of the meshes used in the build, it was time to purchase and start work!

The Inverse Tarzana merged into the raised Zen garden from the previous house layout – note the two sets of doors added to access the garden, and the stairway visible to the left end of the house, providing access to the lower floor

The core work of fitting the house into the existing space proved easy, Wall sections can be simply unlinked, copied and used, and windows easily resized to fit their purpose. The basic alterations to fit the house into the garden and river took me a little over an hour, including the construction of the new “back” doors on the the upper level and making some small alterations to the Zen garden. With that work done, I set about some other minor changes.

As noted, when rezzed, two of the upper floor rooms are in tandem – you need to pass through one to reach the other, making the first less of a room and more of a passageway. Also, the upper floor balcony can only be accessed from the front upper room. Not a design fault by any means (in fact, excellent if the front room is to be the master bedroom), but I wanted access to the balcony without having to traipse across the corner of a room. The easily solution to both problems was to divide the “middle” upper floor room to create a passage way and room. The latter then lent itself ideally to becoming the bathroom, while the former was easily adapted to house the balcony doors, with a new window and frame serving to fill the hole they (and the surrounding  wall) left in the side of the bedroom.

Meanwhile, the downstairs dining / kitchen are demanded a few minor changes to suit my chosen positions for both kitchen units and dining table / chairs. These include the addition of a new internal wall and swapping the position of the side elevation windows and wall, the latter to provide a view of the of the island’s modest waterfalls from the dining table. Finally, and as I don’t like script-heavy control systems, I stripped out various security and other scripts and replaced the lighting with a simpler, automated system.

The reason for not wanting the supplied pool and terrace was not because of any fault with them, but simply because I’d already kitbashed my own for the Fallingwater build, and in the location where I wanted the pool to remain: alongside, rather than in front of, the house. So it was much easier to adopt this to suit my needs than buggering about with the supplied pool and trying to make things fit. I also didn’t use many of the furniture and décor items supplied with the the furnished version of the house – I have plenty of my own. But the pieces I did use are well made and naturally lend themselves to modding where required – most notably in replacing those textures that contain shadow bakes intended to match the supplied ornaments, etc.

All of of which not only gave me a house that fitting my existing garden / patio / river space, it also gave me – pool and patio and house for just 103 LI, including additional walls, partitions, doors, replacement lighting, and additional pictures and wall hangings, leaving me a happy bunny with a new house to play with. Well, at least until Christmas!

inVerse Tarzana: by default rezzes with a 31×31 metre footprint, and has the following land impacts: 125 (unfurnished) 234 with furnishings and extras: 234 LI

There are some elements of inVerse houses that can leave something to be desired: the supplied plants generally are not of the highest quality (for reasons of LI), whilst some buildings can made over-use of baked shadows / lighting effects (common to many prefabs). BUT, with this build – which I understand is one of the more recent from the inVerse collection, neither of these is a serious issue. And to be honest, given the price is just L$349, it’s really not worth quibbling over such things. That said, if you are thinking of buying inVerse, it’s still worth checking out demo versions in-world first – which should be done with any house or structure to avoid surprises – even if modding is not foremost on your mind (as it always is with me!)

As it is, the Tarzana is an excellent design, a good build with reasonable LI and physics / display costs. It proved easily up to the challenge of my slinging and dicing and gluing, so no surprises that I give it a thumbs-up.