Previewing the Linden Homes “Newbrooke” theme

Newbrooke Linden Home styles

Update: December 7th: The preview region has been closed pending an “update”, apparently due to the negative responses the Lab have received.  A forum note from Patch reads:

We have heard your feedback and we have decided to shut down the reveal region for an update.  It seems that this may not have been representative of our best foot forward approach we have taken with the homes over the past.  So I am here to make sure that everyone knows that we have not changed course, lessened our quality, mindfulness or retracted any of the heart and soul we put in to making these homes, themes and community building areas.  
Proof of the fact that I feel less present is actually due to how busy we are with continuing to do more, which is taking more and more of my time.  I am still present, we all do still participate in everything we can in world within Bellisseria, and we are always trying to find new ways to engage on everything we can, including some great Resident run efforts and projects that I know many are involved in.  
That said, the reveal region will be back Really Soon™ after we’ve put some touches on it to make sure our imagination is still reflected in our work. 
Thank you everyone from the team and I for being involved!

– Patch Linden, December 7th, 2021

On Monday, December 6th, 2021, Linden Lab unveiled the newest (at the time of writing) theme for the Premium Membership Linden Homes. I’m not sure what the official name for the theme is, but I’m coming to call them “Newbrooke” for now, as that’s the primary title given to them in their descriptions.

Comprising eight individual styles of Home, this theme has what might have once have been (still is?) called a “contemporary” look in the USA (and possibly elsewhere), and is interesting on a couple of counts:

  • It offers a mix of houses on 512 sq m parcels (4) and 1024 sq m parcels (4), marking it as the first theme to mix parcel sizes since the release of the Trailers and Campers in 2019.
  • The “contemporary” look to the houses, coupled with the general design of the landscaping around them is suggestive of an urban setting that carries something of a throwback to the Meadowbank style of original Linden Homes.

Given that the Newbrooke design is more developed in terms of landscaping, and the texturing suggestive of concrete and brick, rather than the wood of the old Meadowbank, the latter point is purely a surface resemblance, but it is one that tends to be enhanced by the trees used within the preview region, which brought to mind the Linden trees still available via the Library – although these are clearly nothing of the kind.

The Denver (lower house) 512 sq m and Bradbury (upper house) 1024 sq m styles

512 sq m Parcels

  • Denver: a single-storey rectangular design with a central front entrance directly accessing a large main room with doors to the side aspect covered terrace, and a front hallway accessing two further rooms.
  • Ender: a two-storey property featuring a large open-plan ground floor with a single bedroom upstairs, together with a large landing that provides access to a balcony at the front of the house.
The Faraday (512 sq m)
  • Faraday: a single-storey house with central front entrance opening onto the main central room with doors to the rear patio.  This main room is flanked by two rooms to one side and an open-plan space to the other, which also provides access to a third room.
  • Gatewood: a two-storey house with front entrance and vestibule opening onto the main room, with a smaller room opening off of it to one side. A staircase leads up to a single bedroom with doors opening onto a large rooftop balcony with views to three sides.

1024 sq Parcels

  • Bradbury: a single-storey house with a large central main room with multiple doors to the rear aspect accessing the patio and an open plan extension to one side that could be split into a separate room. Two further rooms open off of the other side of the front door for additional space.
  • Aldridge: a boxy, two-storey house with a patio running the full length of one side and two-thirds of a second side,  each side providing access to the main ground floor room together with the front door. The latter accesses the room via an open-plan vestibule that incorporates the stairs and a door to a single ground-floor side room. The L-shaped landing at the top of the stairs provides access to three further rooms.
  • Coniston: a single-storey unit with front entrance accessing a large central room with four rooms / spaces opening off of it. There is a small room with a view to the front aspect, two rooms with views to one side, one of which has doors to the rear patio – as does the main room. Facing these two rooms from across the main room is an open-plan extension that could be divided into a separate room, if required.
The 1024 sq m Heaton
  • Heaton: a large two-storey house with the front door opening onto the main room with two sets of doors to the rear patio. Dogleg stairs provide access to an upper hall with two rooms opening off of it with views to the rear. A ground floor hall with windows to the front aspect provides access to an open-plan space with a further room opening off of it to the front.

Overall, these are light and airy builds in terms of their interiors, with plenty of windows. The floor plans tend to lean towards a more open-plan design with several of the styles (again typical of the Meadowbrook), which might a reflection on the popularity of the open-plan variants of some of the previous Linden Home themes that have been released.

Whether the invocation of the Meadowbrook design (also noted in the related forum thread on the preview) is intentional or not, I’ve no idea. While it doesn’t – at first look at least – appeal to me, I have no problem with the Lab looking back at their own history for ideas as well as looking elsewhere. Who knows, maybe it will encourage some of those retaining an old-style Linden Home to finally ditch it and make the move to Bellisseria, once these houses are officially launched and available.

The Gatewood (512 sq m)

I’ve no idea when these houses will be made available – presumably some time in early-ish 2022, if past releases are a reasonable yardstick – but in the meantime, the preview region will be open through until the end of the Xmas Expo on December 14th, 2021.

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4 thoughts on “Previewing the Linden Homes “Newbrooke” theme

  1. I like them, but then I like modern architecture and live in similar style in RL. However I noticed that the comments around me as I wandered through the preview region were *universally* dismissive going on hostile. SL is a fantasy world even when it’s not Fantasy with a capital F. These homes may be a bit too realistic for many SL’ers. Nor do I think they will encourage owners of old-style Linden Homes to move to Bellisseria, because I don’t think their motivations are aesthetic. It will be interesting to see what the take-up is when they’re launched. Based on what I heard as I wandered around them, I don’t anticipate the usual “Game of Homes” excitement.

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    1. Yeah, the “encouragement” to move is an exceptionally long shot, but I just thought I’d throw it out there. I didn’t dislike what I saw in terms of house styles; as an architecture fan myself, I could see several possible physical world influences on their design. However, I like having a more “water” themed Linden Home, so the most I’ll be doing is maybe the occasion flip between the Stilt theme and the Houseboats, just to change thing up every so often (particularly as I have a number of interior layouts stored in rez boxes for both!).

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  2. Until these overlarge homes have a higher prim allowance, they’re going to be empty. The current allowance won’t let you furnish even a small 512 house comfortably. At best, they will appear to be “Just moved in and our stuff hasn’t all arrived yet” like all the other Linden homes out there.

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    1. Speaking as someone who original had a “old” Tahoe style 512 LH for years before chucking it for one of the “new” homes, I beg to differ. As I’ve blogged in these pages, the old homes were perfectly viable in terms of furnishing (and even adding mods). As I had one sitting above a river for several years, I actually gave up all land holdings for a time and comfortably lived within it.

      The 1024 sq m “new” homes certainly a more than adequate land capacity allowance, and have given rise to a fairly rich market of add-ons and internal elements, simply because people have been having fun modding and playing with the internal layouts. Right now, my Stilt Home has no fewer than 5 internal layouts with full furnishings that allow me to quickly and easily flip between two of the Stilt Home styles whenever I wish (and have a choice of internal layouts with each) – and have sufficient LI set aside for one of my sailing boats (32 LI) and for rezzing a speedboat and / or Searoo out on the dock. And I’m not an exception in this – the vast majority of the Stilt Homes around mine and the Houseboats across the channel are all furnished…

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