A long-overdue post to announce the return of one of my favorite houses – Tall Grass.
Tall Grass fell victim to inventory loss, and I had no backup copy. Lesson learned. Thankfully a friend had a copy of the house. I had to painstakingly copy each prim, texture it, then add scripts to operate the doors, privacy windows and security settings. I decided to upgrade a number of the textures while I was at it, and I’m very happy with the result.
This house was inspired by the tall grass prairies of south-western Minnesota, and the Native Americans who lived there. The weather on the prairie can change rapidly from baking sun to frigid temperature, from lashing rain to snow and back to sun again in the course of a day. I’ve experienced all of that plus hail, tornadoes and flash floods, all common in Minnesota and the Dakotas. If you’re living a nomadic life on the prairie, you need a sophisticated home to protect you from this constantly changing weather.
I recently had the opportunity to examine an authentic Lakota Sioux Tipi up close, and it’s a very intricate piece of engineering. It’s what architects call “switch-rich,” meaning the dwelling can be easily opened and closed to the environment depending on how much ventilation, heating, cooling, light or shade is needed. What especially struck me was how the skin of the dwelling served as a canvas on which to record the history of the family. When the family folded up the dwelling and moved it to a new place, they took their symbolic history with them – a deeply important act for a culture with no written language.
When I designed this home a few years ago, I was interested in capturing some of the aspects of a nomadic home on the prairie – both the structure and the cladding made of lightweight, easy to transport and assemble materials, seemingly assembled directly on the earth. While the reality of building a home like this would be somewhat complex, I wanted people to look at the materials and think “I could buy all of this at Home Depot, and screw it all together myself in a weekend.”
After I had designed and built Tall Grass, I realized it some things in common with one of my favorite houses, the iconic Magney House at Bingie Point by Australian architect Glenn Murcutt.
Murcutt also had in mind the idea of a nomadic home, built of the lightweight aircraft materials which were important in settling the Australian outback, plus the lessons about switch-rich dwellings he learned from designing for Aboriginal clients.
With a Land Impact of only 117, I really feel this house delivers a lot of interesting space and detail for very few prims. In fact, I like this house so much that I made it my own personal home, and I look forward to sharing that in my next post.
Tall Grass is on the Second Life Marketplace :