Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jake’s Club and Fine Art Lounge at Fire Island (part 1)

My friend Thomm, who has had delusional ideas about the superiority of my building abilities ever since the day I showed him how to make a sculpted lamp out of freebie sculpt textures, recommended me as a builder to JakeC Hotshot when Jake was looking to build a brand new Jake’s Club. Being in between projects, I agreed to meet with Jake to talk about what he wanted; ultimately, I took the job.

The vision was simple... modern with a lot of glass! Turns out the club also needed to be big. Jake didn’t necessarily want a big club per say, but he wanted to incorporate many elements that would I explained would require a large structure. First, and most obvious, the Club itself. A simple dance club, with enough space to allow for elaborate theme party decorations, and dance floor big enough to hold a crowd yet intimate enough for everyone to interact. Also, an Art gallery was to be included, a pool area where guys could hang out and outdoor parties could be hosted. Something organic should be included in the midst of the modern steel and glass, and some place that was more intimate too. There would also need to be and office space and a couple of small apartments. Now the challenge…how do I develop a structure that incorporates all of these elements and still makes sense? If you have been to the club since the opening, the solution may seem obvious now… but initially; it was a bit of a challenge to get my head around conceptually.

Inspiration actually hit one day as I was driving up Highway 101 to San Francisco, off to the side I noticed what looked like a hospital building.

The structure didn’t look much like how the club turned out in the end, but it provided some of the inspiration for the design. Two separate towers facing each other. In envisioned those towers with a third cylindrical tower in back. That design was sketched out, and modified several times until a sketch of two building emerging from a central tower was settled on. But it wasn’t just two buildings, it was two tapered buildings which would give the structure a more modern feel.

Okay… so the sketch ws easy enough, simple prims tapered with SL building tool. But what about the real thing? I realized quickly that this building project was gunna take a lot of math. And not just any math... the serious stuff that makes your head hurt. It was at this point that it was time to bring in help and I contacted Brutus Merryman, a relatively new resident to Second Life, but a human calculator and an amazing new builder. I shared my vision with Brutus, and we began to work together. He would build while I flowed behind texturing and scripting the elements into a rezzer. We developed a great working relationship and plan to do more projects together in the future. Thank the stars for Brutus... because I just don’t do calculus (apparently that was required for some of the angles)

A third and more detailed sketch was developed before the final work began, it was approved by Jake and construction began and moved very quickly. The club would probably have been completed and up in a matter of a couple weeks, but there was the small question of, “Where was it gunna go?” Originally, putting the club on its own open space sim was the idea, but with the incredible attendance of some of Jakes parties, there was not way to accommodate that many avatars, another solution had to be found. Fortunately, Jakes club found its new home on Fire Island Pines with a fantastic new partnership formed between Jakes and the new Fire Island owners, Beau Loring and Micha Fotherington. The club would now be surrounded by a mall and a residential community… what a win! Jakes vision of providing a place where the gay community of SL could hang out was one stem closer to becoming a reality. The club, the pool the fine arts gallery could now be the social focus point for an entire residential community as well.

Check the next blog post for more detail on the amenities of Jake’s Club and Fine art Lounge at Fire Island.

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