Monday, 9 July 2007

A Strange Time in Villa Adrianna

Aware that I've been slacking in my aim of locating the less well-known parts of SL, I went for a ramble this evening and turned up Villa Adrianna, a sim that seems to bear only a passing resemblance to Emperor Hadrian's villa of the same name at Tivoli, near Rome.

It has been constructed by the enigmatically named WereTomato (contactable at who describe themselves thus: "WereTomato operates in 3D platforms, [such] as SecondLife where we build fresh new islands for big clients, but we also offer single parcels to smaller clients. Our goal is to provide high quality. Our team is composed of Architects involved in professional and academic career in their Real Life; we have expertise in Architecture, Interior Design, Industrial Design and Urban Planning. " I think you get the gist.

In describing the Villa Adrianna sim they say: "The Sim design is focused on [a] theoretical basis you can read on [the] lumesarch web site . Villa Adriana is not just a reproduction of the famous roman imperial palace by Adriano (Hadrian) but a critical interpretation of its spaces. "

I think I need to break away from the EuroEnglish of the WereTomato prose at this point, and try to interpret their description of the main aims of the island. The main aims are to provide:

  • A Lumesarch University facility to develop architecture classes thatwill soon deliver lessons to students in both Europe and USA.
  • The Teatro Marittimo, an exhibition and theatre space hosting plays and events to be performed live in both SL and RL simultaneously, in locations including New York, Rome, London and Paris.
  • WAM, or the Web Art “Mous”eum, a museum and laboratory dedicated to web-based art; a real museum hosting new exhibitions and performances monthly.
  • BitSalad Gallery, a gallery for contemporary art: BitSalad will feature international artists and special events delivering the best art from the most important galleries in New York, London, Paris, Roma, Firenze, Tokyo etc. (I'm only translating here - it seems a tall order to me)
  • Villa Adriana, also offers some commercial and residential space.
So what did I make of it? Well I found it a baffling and interesting site. I have no idea whether it is finished, or only half-built! There is a strange mix of old Roman walls and mosaics, and ultra-modern glass and steel. The structure of the site is complex, with little (perhaps no) natural walkways. Rather there are a number of small meeting and performance areas, connected (perhaps!) by a maze of passageways. Oh... and there is a strange (is it Art?) movie, supposedly based on a Philip K Dick story. Here's some snaps by way of illustration:

Is it Art? Or pretentious bull poop? I don't know - what do you think?

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