Saturday, 15 December 2007

Kaufhaus Des Westens

While exploring the area near the Osram sims, I came across the 4-sim island KaDeWe, which belongs to the German department store, Kaufhaus Des Westens (more usually abbreviated, so it seems, to KaDeWe).

The RL store, which is apparently celebrating 100 years of trading, is located in Berlin, and lays claim to being the large department store in continental Europe, serving up a range of over 380,000 items to a passing trade in excess of 40,000 people per day. Originally opening its doors in March, 1907, it was badly damaged by Allied bombing in WWII. In fact, it was also badly damaged by an Allied bomber - which crashed into the building in 1943. So extensive was the damage it did not reopen until 1950, standing as a symbol of the economic success of West Berlin during the Cold War years.

The Second Life store sits at the junction of the 4 sims that go to make up the island, and appears to be a reasonable recreation of the RL building. Around it are photo-rendered shops and offices, to give the place a sense of context. The building itself is currently decked out for Christmas, and covers 3 floors. The ground floor has a couple of bars or seating areas together with a catwalk, the first floor has departments selling SL avatar clothing, while the top floor has a coffee bar and a photo-rendered deli. Here's my snaps:

I've actually been back to KaDeWe on a number of occasions, at various times, and there is always a small group of people there. I have not the faintest idea why.

The site itself is well built, and there are weblinks to Liventura (?) and Your SL - 2 companies presumably involved in the design and delivery of the site. I am not clear as to the purpose of the site, other than as a promotional vehicle for their 100th anniversary year. However, I am intrigued about the small group of folks who seem to be in near-permanent residence! Perhaps some kind soul would like to provide some illumination on this.

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