Over the gate...

Designed in 1913 by Victorian/Edwardian/other architect Theophilus A Allen; John Lennon's house between 1964 and 1968; sunroom, attic and prisco stripe hibernice; Mellotron and caravan; Babidji and Mimi; mortar and pestle; Wubbleyoo Dubbleyoo; curios and curiosity; remnants and residue; testimonials and traces; (Cavendish Avenue, Sunny Heights and Kinfauns); Montagu Square; mock Tudor: Brown House: *KENWOOD*.

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Monday, 5 July 2010

Kenwood: virtual sunroom - first renders.

With the 43rd anniversary of June 29, 1967 been and gone, what better time to "remplenish thou thy cravie, with all that bodes within" (as a former resident once wrote)?
And why not? After all, when most people don't think about Kenwood, it's the sunroom that doesn't come to mind.
Per contra, for anyone round these parts, the sunroom is a familiar place, from lo-res Polaroids and foggy fifth-generation copies of fan photos; each one thick with atmosphere, yet the detail remains tantalisingly out of reach. Even the professional pictures from June 1967 and December 1968 are somewhat lacking in clarity by modern standards.
Which is precisely what lends these new images a pleasantly weird quality upon first viewing - pin-sharp, hi-res renderings of something from a lo-res age; the sunroom, dismantled, demolished and forgotten long before the era of the megapixel, lives again! (Or something like that.)

Examine the pics for a few minutes, and, if you know the auld mock-Tudor hole, you'll find your mind does double-takes. (Click on them for the bigger picture, as usual.) The product of over a year's work by 3D artist Christopher Sileo, each component had to be modelled individually, a painstaking process requiring initial research, an acute eye for detail, infinite patience and self evident skill.
The results are exquisite.

Needs must, certain elements had to be guessed, or substituted, due to the limitations of the source images; but everything is in keeping with the spirit of the place, as was, and the whole hangs together wonderfully well.
What's more, this is only the beginning; it's a work in progress, and much further detail is to follow, in and around the sunroom, and then deeper on into the rest of the house. Ultimately, the entire place, from attic to den, will stand "virtually" restored to its prime. The beauty of it is that once the scene is set, an almost unlimited number of perspectives becomes possible.
Panoramic QuickTime tours are also in the works; until (probably unhinged) boffins invent immersive virtual reality (or time travel), these will be as close as anyone can get in the here-and-now to paying the high Lennon-era Kenwood a visit...which beats a whack in the face with a shit-covered stick, as my great-granny used to say.
More views of the virtual house can soon be found on Mr Sileo's site The Beatles In 3D. If you haven't done so already, I invite you to bookmark it, and check back regularly for further goodies; the link is under Friends & Neighbours on the right.


  1. Bloody fantastic! Love seeing the Ringo hanger on the doorknob!

  2. Bloody beautiful. What talent Mr Sileo has and what a gift for us Kenwood worshippers. Wow. Oh, and peace and love! :-)

  3. I’m humbled. Thank you kind people.

    But Mr. Kenwood blog guy's talent for research was invaluable here. Tracking down all that content is what made this work.

    He also cracked the whip and lit a fire under my arse. But I’m still waiting for my shit covered stick via the post.

    Lot's more to come!

  4. Top notch job(s)!

  5. That's a nice render, I've seen lots of pictures of the Sun Room on here and other sites, but I think it's glaringly obvious that the Sun Room depicted in these renders is not made or clad in concrete. It looks like it was clad or made of wood. Nice effort though! ..It would be nice to see the Sun Room created accurately.

  6. The original sunroom plans on this blog show the base as being a 4 foot thick slab of concrete - and it's clear from the picture of John sitting on the steps that it is concrete. That's exactly what these renders show.
    The sunroom itself may well have been clad in wood... but I stress, again, as I wrote in the post, that these are first drafts of an on-going project, and should be treated as such. They are pretty remarkable as they are, but much more detail will be filled in as it progresses. Alrighty?

  7. simply FAB - congratulations to both on an amazing job!

  8. Hi Montreal,

    The sun room was framed in wood of course but if you check the post "Kenwood: art August 1967" via the text labels and you'll see that the exterior of the sun room had a stucco texture applied to its facade.

    The obvious conclusion is that it was done to try and match the rest of the house which clearly also had a stucco texture applied to its exterior.

    As for the texture I used – it’s not a perfect match but the best one I had on hand that was at the required resolution for a sharp render. I travel with camera in hand so hopefully one will present itself in the near future.

    Short of having a high resolution digital shot of the stucco on the house itself I’ll keep looking.

  9. AWEsome!!!!!!!!!!!, i am not worthy!!, and i won't even nick them :-) seriously amazing work, i bow before you guys (not TOO low tho
    :-) )