October 5, 2011

Structures – Tantria

Filed under: Structures — cnwood @ 9:50 am
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Underwater city and home to 1/5th of the Thalians on earth–the mother city. Completed Jan. 1984.

Almost two miles beneath the surface of Crystal Lake in WA state. A gigantic hive-shaped domed city within the shielding mountain (Cascade Range) that rises above. Approximately 9,100 Thalians live and work in the city.

Endless subterranean shifts and fault movements are regularly updated and forwarded to city engineers. The mountain above the city is dead and the short fault line under the lake has been dormant for thousands of years, but the ground under the city’s adjustable suspension is automatically screened for any unexpected modifications needed.

Thalians use glass walls, mirrored on one side and see through on the other, throughout much of the city, to esthetically enlarge small spaces and bring living color into the home and workplace.

AIRLOCKS:  (five airlocks strategically placed throughout the ground floor) As a person approaches underwater, dim stationary lights activate, then two rock panels slid wide apart pulling the person in then close. A crypt-like void–totally black at first. A muffled clang vibrates through the water that is a physical jolt of movement against the body. A churning dissipating of water and billowing air. A blue light flashes to life, whirling mutely overhead. The hissing air stops abruptly and the last of the lake water disappears through a large metal grate in the concrete floor.

The cumbersome inner black doors open with measured mechanized precision and open wide on the entrance chamber. The person exits the airlock releases the doors on the main panel. The blue lights inside the airlock and chamber go out when the doors firmly shut.

Should someone come down from above, the outside doors won’t activate while the airlock is in use. An automatic warning sounds when the exterior sensors are tripped and the inside doors are still open.

Panel on wall inside entrance chamber just outside the airlock– smooth red square on the bottom of wall panel activates the closing mechanism. When inside doors close the overhead whirling blue light inside airlock and showing in the entrance chamber goes out. The large activation button changes to green.

ENTRANCE CHAMBER:  main walls and ceiling made up of rough-hewn bedrock; chamber is the size of a generous city block; ivy-covered stone-lattice beams. Abundant flowering plants adorn polished pedestals of wood and stone creating walkways and retreats beneath hanging arbors of flowers and grapevines, chimes. White marble flooring is thick and well used in the pathways. Pathways are wide.

Imposing granite statues amongst towering marble columns and tucked away alcoves.

In middle of chamber is a three-tiered fountain of white and black marble filled with sparkling blue water in the generous white-lined basins; water soars upward from a vast flower-shaped crystal; thin trumpeting columns of blue water encircle each marble ledge, falling back into basins to recycle and fly once more.

Chamber is lit by non-glaring illumination by enormous crystal rods (glowing circles within circles of innocuous energy) that cover the massive bell-shaped carved domed ceiling (five stories up).

A marble walkway spans the chamber on thin wires anchored into huge black ceiling beams and the rock walls at either end; covered with sumptuous flowers of orange, yellows and blues and lush trailing vines (leaves bigger than a grown man’s hands) and cover the cable and cut stone making a garden in the air.

Four exits (plus glass-corridor) from chamber, one at each corner of the room; weighty columns mark aisle boundaries by each exit.

Over the delicate harmony of chimes and flutes can be heard the playful soothing sounds of tinkling water from the imposing marble fountain. The smell of ripe blossoms lightly perfumes the re-circulated air.

What was once just a black hole buried beneath a mountain of rock at the bottom of a lake is now alive with colors and textures; a prison, a sanctuary, a home of unparalleled beauty and utility.

GLASS CORRIDOR:  the lighting as you approach is a shifting glow of blue and white. Floor, ceiling, and walls are thick reinforced glass panes and make a remarkable window to the colorful underwater garden filed with statues, stones, plant life, and fish. Is an access corridor between the entrance chamber and the park.

UNDERWATER GARDEN:  (saltwater aquarium that encircles the city) Water color is sky blue; various columns of air bubbles levitate in a swirling gush from tarnished grates on a patio floor. Statues and crumbling pillars stand beneath layers of algae and seaweed; everywhere are wild ribbons of sea-grass that undulate with the motion of the water and reaches skyward out of view.

THE TERRACE:  open dinning 24/7 with tables spread over a large tiered stairway and platform on the main level behind the entrance chamber. Second floor walkway opens onto the back entrance to the dining area and kitchens.

THE PARK:  an immense chamber that is at least 20 times larger than the entrance chamber, just for the park and gardens. Lush colorful gardens surround the park common.

A vast garden park and growing fields of at least ten acres of relatively flat fertile ground; vast cobblestone walkways throughout and a thick carpet of well-trimmed grass; irrigation sprinklers throughout park, a flowing stream, birds, silver birch trees, tiered flowerbeds of every bold color of blossom and foliage, flowering hedges and neatly trimmed shrubbery line pathways, full-grown oaks, maples and willows with gaily painted benches beneath their branches line the park’s main centralized clearing “the commons” (musical recital or other popular public gathering place).

Living quarters line the perimeter of the chamber that forms an oblong circle around the park (four-stories high) with sparkling window glass and open balconies with flowering vines draped throughout the lattice railings.

At the far end of the chamber, misting vapors and moisture-laden ferns among palm-leafed trees enclose a carved out rock enclosure with a gently pounding roar of a cascading waterfall that plunges from the high domed ceiling. Looking through the hazy blue halo is a broad deep pool that branches into smaller irrigation streams that spans the park and beyond.

Sunlight brightness from the high-domed ceiling (enormous crystal rods – self-contained energy/lighting system) provides all the essential elements for healthy plant growth and for humans as well.

All exits, sealed access tubes, etc., are protected by an energy shield and decontamination sensors–all computerized and programmed to respond in certain ways depending on the data collected by the sensors and intensifies just enough to veer a bird or bee to remain in the park chamber.

Numerous ground attendants have early morning rounds for inspection, planting, repairs, etc. Jogging trail of mulch-cover meanders around the outer circumference of the park’s vast commons area.

COMMUNAL BALCONIES:  second level through fourth level have open balconies off of offices and personal quarters, overlooking the ground level (first floor) park, commons, growing fields, orchard, waterfall, etc. On each balcony are descent glides (access to rear of decorative safety railings) for emergency decent to main level but often used as quick access to lower balcony levels. Each glide has hand and foot pegs that are stepped on/held which activates the steady downward motion (only one speed) that can go from fourth level to main floor in 2 minutes. Simply step on or off to activate glide. Without a minimum weight registering on pegs, glide automatically shuts down.

Should a power failure occur, all downward glide motion would stop BUT decent would still be possible using stationary hand and foot pegs until backup power kicks in.

MAIN CORRIDORS:  sensors automatically open and close sliding doors; white marble flooring, spacious, veers in a wide circular arc around entire complex.

Outside walls–blended sections of black rock and white tile, rising thigh high from the floor and supports continuous thick glass panes along the corridor.

Vibrant blue glow from underwater garden floods the corridor enhancing the natural crystal lighting that tracks in glowing tubes down either side of the marble ceiling.

Inside walls–mirrored floor to ceiling and covers roughly sixty feet of gradual curved wall to butt up to doorframes. Sliding doors are glossy white panels; palmpad on upper right doorframe opens and closes panel. All office corridor walls are tinted and see-through into the corridor and underwater garden, one way for privacy.

MAIN or FIRST FLOOR:  (administrative/executive offices) consists of well-designed offices, numerous fully stocked supply rooms and 20 odd lounges with the occasional built-in bench seating in the spacious corridor that gradually circles around to open onto the far side of the entrance chamber. During daytime hours, there’s a habitual hum of voices and movement in the administrative corridor–duty personnel, visiting humans and residents.

Elevators–10 square-shaped spaces with no windows and double sliding door panels on front and back; fabric covered sofas, chairs polished wood tables and vases of fresh cut flowers; each floor is depicted by a metal sculpted symbol (created by Kari Simpson) that glows (five recessed neon symbols equally spaced down either side of each doorway) with a larger correlating crystal etched version (created by ?) hanging directly across the hall from the lift against the outer glass wall; no sensory motion felt when lift is moving.

SECOND FLOOR:  (teaching center) has identical marble flooring, same soft blue glow reflected through ceiling to floor glass panes and mirrored walls; gushing air bubbles in underwater garden, long tendrils of sea grass in constant motion; cannot see garden statues/patio gardens unless looking directly downward from window; abundant colorful fish fill the upper level observation windows.

Spacious classroom suites, adjoining offices, labs with comfortable chairs and tiled drafting desks, computers, database servers and other equipment beyond Debra’s comprehension; lounges, elevators; maps of planets, solar systems, vast galaxies cover walls and ceilings like paintings; bulletin boards overflow with pictures of Earth, neighboring planets, moons; picture-graphics provide written captions beneath photos of prominent cities around the globe; thickly padded reclining desk chairs to watch a painted ceiling heaven revolve slowly overhead.

2nd floor shopping/recreation core–further into the mountain, wide branching aisles with clothing establishments, carpentry shops, upholsters, beauty salons, books, shoes, crystal jewelry, perfumes, household linens (manufacturing of various products is handled elsewhere and not in shops); muraled hallways, intersecting warren of clean spacious hallways; recessed boxes of hanging flowering plants and running water in narrow under-lit troughs on either side of the marble floor; large chambers with saunas, Jacuzzi pools, recreation courts, five well-equipped gymnasiums, glass-enclosed Olympic-size pool beneath a high arching dome of blue crystal light. Main corridor opens onto the entrance chamber walkway. Dining terrace is elegant; kitchens are well organized.

Galleria–all fresh produce and personal items are purchased here. Also has café-style eating and takeout with hours and menus depending on the establishment.

THIRD FLOOR:  (medical/science) offices and labs take up the entire third level; lounges, elevators; two immense adjoining chambers carved deeply into the mountain:  1. Isolated Recovery–just off main corridor, large enclosed room with bed alcoves for privacy or long-term care, open seating areas for visiting and consultations, well maintained first-aid and surgery prep stations; gone is the usual cold stainless-steel look and dreadful hospital décor.   2. Operating Theater–directly behind and joined by automatic doors and a short decontamination entry; massive chamber; spacious aisles of smoked colored glass dividers, monitoring screens in each intensive care alcove, special self-sustaining quarantine units, four eight-foot viewing screens in a joined arc behind the operating platform provides the suspended enclosed observation gallery with close-up view of the medical procedure or speaker.

Hydroponics Meadow–located on the far side of the complex; curved overhead sign with name Hydroponics Meadow; massive planting chambers of flowers, grains, vegetation grown in special beds of nutrient solution; bright artificial illumination (bright as sunlight) roughly duplicates the 24-hour light and dark cycle of topside; cut deeply into the mountain range, high domed ceilings and rock walls painted in reflective sky blues and blended shades of grassy greens; acres of tended rows and raised beds, miles of hanging planters and seedling tables fill growing caverns with plants and flowers for food and pharmaceutical purposes; smaller side rooms (as big as entrance chamber or as small as a spacious office suite) are well lit and ventilated to accommodate the numerous rows of floor to ceiling drying racks, reeking plants and flowers in different stages of extraction on pressing tables, separating gyrators, or in fat blending tubs made of thick crystal; filament stations hold brightly pigmented skeins of yarn made from fibrous plants and fruits and hang loosely from smooth coated rails above and along the walls; a wide marble avenue branches out to a dozen or more great halls with computerized looms (textile) that reach high over head into the domed ceiling; carpets, tapestries, fabrics, hefty rolling carts and trolleys line the sides of the avenue loaded with bolts and larger rolls awaiting distribution to craftsmen, shops, or storage.

FOURTH & FIFTH FLOORS:  (living quarters) hushed coziness more relaxed and intimate; thick blue carpeting covers the marble floor; big baskets of colorful flowers and ferns hanging from self-watering brackets high up on the window frames all along corridor; narrow alcoves hold beautifully crafted tables and cushioned benches with photos and collectibles (some with large framed areas filled with children’s drawings, cutouts, and finger paintings); single, double, and family units or quarters mixed throughout top two floors; a palmpad below numbered brass plate for each unit and requires an occupant’s handprint to gain access or gently chimes to announce a visitor.

Fifth level is a solid floor with no outside balcony access to the park; painted landscapes and tapestries, portrait collections, crystal sculptures decorate the numerous corridors that intersect and veer inward toward a large high-domed lounge that provides residents a marvelous place to relax and socialize.

Hi Top or The Top offers music, games, food and refreshments 24/7; also serves as an evacuation point through the mountain should an emergency ever shutdown the five airlocks on the ground level; bronze plaque glassed in by bar pays tribute to the city’s safe record since it’s commencement over two decades ago; effort continues toward maintaining and stocking the miles of carved tunnel and its many recessed aid and housing stations.

Nursery (currently houses 14 female bi-human children below the age of 6) double set of entry doors with stenciled clowns and circus animals; child-size tables and chairs group together in small clusters about main room; colorful carpets and fabrics cover the marble floors and adult-size furnishings; paintings, drawn cutouts, and picture-writing symbols cover almost every inch of wall space; to the left of main doors is a bathroom and office/lounge offering comfort and functional elegance in furniture, equipment, and displayed artwork; dim nightlights are recessed floor pots around perimeter of spacious nursery suite; to right of main doors, heavy floor-to-ceiling draperies cover three display walls, visible during the day, to creating soothing uncluttered sleeping retreat or dorm with flowered linen sheets, plump pillows, bedspreads of quilted colors, fuzzy sleep toys, carpeted floor; currently 12 child-size beds, six on either long curtained wall and three baby cribs at far end, each with it own changing table against the wall and a wooden rocking chair at the foot of the bed.

SECURITY:  can monitor any office, lounge, elevator, crawlspace, access tube, or public area if needed. Monitoring system on automatic feed to central computer database and can be brought up on individual desk monitor, datapad, or wall screens by authorization code through security.

SINGLE QUARTERS:  (those on fourth floor) palmpad sliding panel entryway; main living area; large bedroom/built-in mirrored closet (double doors); tinted sliding glass door onto communal balcony in bedroom and living room; closet in living room between full bathroom and bedroom; full trim kitchen with upper/lower cupboards on three walls, large tinted window over sink on balcony wall; large closet on opposite wall with compact stacked washer/dryer, wall charged/empty vacuum cleaner system; portable com-link terminal–controls communications, emergency medical/security, environmental, cleaning, etc.; mini fridge under counter, cooking element retracts under countertop and controlled by com-link.

All single, double, and family quarters on the fourth floor have the same basic layout except double has a little large living room and family has larger living room and kitchen plus a second bedroom and another closet on the same side as kitchen.

All fifth floor quarters are the same as those on fourth floor but without balcony/park access.


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