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And now for something completely different! All my buildings thus far have been modern, urban constructions, but I have other neighborhoods filled with buildings of different sorts as well, and I want to share them too! Hence, I present to you the House of Elrond- Rivendell, Imladris, or the Last Homely House West of the Mountains and East of the Sea. I based my design for this lot off of Rivendell as it appears in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy (not including The Hobbit, as they changed the designs for the valley and buildings quite a bit, and I like LOTR better!), so for those of you who want a comparison, I've included a few shots of Rivendell models- one designed for collectors, the other designed (so far as I can tell) for filming in the actual movies. To quote the epic tale of the estimable hobbit Bilbo Baggins, "[The] house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all."
Home to both immortal Elves and mortal men privileged enough to be named elf-friend, the valley of Imladris is a home of peace and good cheer and lore, not of battle or industry. The buildings use forms found in nature and are lined all about with arches, windows, and balconies, so that whether indoors or out, one will always feel a part of the valley itself. The waters of Bruinen flow about this home, and the soft, tranquil sounds of falling water can be heard throughout the House of Elrond. The moss-and-grass covered hills lend shape to the buildings atop them, and the pathways through the trees flow naturally over the landscape rather than cutting through it.
Both indoors and out, Rivendell is a place for life and growing things, with plants growing both wild and cultivated in anyplace you care to look. In designing this lot, one of my primary concerns was getting the feel of Rivendell as close to that of the films as I could, so while parts of the valley are my own design, others are designed based on scenes from the films. Thus, it is only natural that there should be an outdoor gathering place for the Council of Elrond, where beings from all corners of Middle-SimEarth can gather to discuss the greatest problems of their Age. Likewise, Rivendell would not be Rivendell without an arched bridge to allow the Fellowship to pass over the splashing waters of the valley. Other areas, like the gazebo structure or several of the alcove statues, may not be direct copies of anything from the movie, but they still bring the feel of Rivendell into the Sims. In daylight, rays of sunlight can reach nearly every part of the House of Elrond, while at night, beeswax candles and elvish lanterns ensure that none of the Fair Folk will ever have to walk in darkness.
As I designed it, this lot is best suited for those aspiring to the pursuit of knowledge or for the loving environment of a large family, as there is very little here that would serve the interests of a pleasure-seeking or fortune-minded individual. Whether your Sim-Elves are of the green-skinned PlantSim variety, or just regular Sims with pointed ears, Rivendell should bring a sense of peace and calm to even the most stressed-out of Sims. A sanctuary of nature, knowledge, art, and music, this lot can serve as a guiding light in the turbulent world of a medieval neighborhood. Indoors and out, this lot is perfect for quiet contemplation and meditation, for the study of ancient texts, for the composition of soaring melodies, or for the cultivation of growing things to bring more beauty to a world dominated by stone and industry. In my own gameplay I tend towards smaller households, so I've only included two double-beds in the lot, but with as many libraries and sitting rooms as there are, if you choose to move in a larger household, you should have no trouble finding rooms to convert into bedchambers, and if you like the design I've chosen for the interior, I think there are enough examples of how I construed it that you should have no trouble making them fit in with the rest of the home. The House of Elrond is known for welcoming all who come to it.
At 5X6 and over $500,000, this is a massive lot, so it will be slower on some computers, but like my skyscrapers, I DESIGNED it on an old, slow computer, so it is playable- just slower. Also like all my other lots, I designed the lot with no CC and instead just tried to find the Maxis items that best fit the aesthetic I was looking for, but I know there are a good number of uploads by other MTS members that were designed specifically after JRR Tolkien's and Peter Jackson's elvish aesthetic. For those of you who are so inclined, I will be in no way offended if you choose to play this lot with those sorts of modifications. Still, I've worked on this lot long enough that I think even without other mods, it does a pretty good job of capturing the feel of Rivendell. As far as placement goes, it should be clear that this lot looks best in a forested locale, and while it isn't necessary, for a truly Tolkien-esque Rivendell, this lot should be placed at the bottom of a valley or in the foothills of a mountain range. Also, I assume that most of you play neighborhoods with a variety of seasons as your norm, but for those of you who don't, this lot is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful to watch the seasons change on, particularly in spring and autumn, as the budding leaves and flowers of springtime lend even more beauty to the elvish architecture, and fallen leaves bestow it with a feeling of timelessness in keeping with its nearly five-thousand-year history. At any rate, however you choose to play it, I hope it's something you enjoy!