We have decided to open three houses, PlayHouse, ThinkHouse and TalkHouse (sounds better on Serbian:) The facilities will not be connected, and they will have together around 600 m2.
PlayHouse - an area where club members can relax trough creativity with families and friends. Focus is on large tables for building, large displays for exhibiting and large tables for activities.
PlayHouse is all about activity and interaction
ThinkHouse is an area where club members will meet to socialize. Place for celebrations, meetups, brainstorming (we call it beerstorming), for parties and similar social content. Focus is on connected tables small in size, comfortable chairs and access to everything needed for good brainstorming or party. This is place for lugbulk sorting, general meetings and meetups
Thinkhouse is all about talking, sharing and having fun (outside from building, trough socializing)
TalkHouse is an area specialized for presentations. Focus is on good sound transfer system, possibility of different types of presentations and 50-150 places for visitors to sit and listen or take part in conversation
Talkhouse is all about presenting ideas, procedures, practices and other interesting things, focused on two way communication, specialized for larger auditorium and two way communication through use of sound boosting equipment
Complex will consist from several rooms, connected with no doors (except bathrooms and elevator to storage area). One large room (sit and play area with bar in corner), three storage units on floor, one small "soft room" for toddlers (we are in the age when many of club members have toddlers :). This is at ground level, surface area 158 m2, and we have elevator that takes us to sub-ground level where is storage unit of 80 m2
Storage units on ground floor will have day-to-day needed things, they will be hidden from sight, and storage room in sub-ground level will have our custom made cupboards for our custom made moc boxes, as well as tons and tons of classifiers and boxes with our bricks (our goal is 1000, we have bought 200 - idea is to buy few every time one of us enters the shop, so the impact is not large, and we have been doing it for last few months). Ease of access and good index is a must, and we have a team who is doing only that - finding solution for good classification that is clear to everyone.
Every club member with space shortage will be able to store his/hers bricks and mocs here. We will not storage sets, although.
One large room will take 70% of place (with unavoidable pillars that can't be removed, but can be utilized with mosaic pictures and banners), with 1/4 in comfortable chairs and tables, bar in one corner and 3/4 under large tables (collaborative moc construction), as well as drawing table (check post in interactive exhibits here on blog), mosaic building table and 2 original LEGO play tables with 4 our own custom LEGO Play tables. All the walls will be covered with one big banner per wall, and in front all walls will have self-illuminated displays for our creations, trough whole length (around 50m of creations all together with all pillars)
Adult sitting places: 48
Children sitting places: 52
This is, of course, approximation with around 1m for one person, and we can fit more tightly when there is need (adults) and kids can sit on a floor also (and they usually do), and we will have 20 more small Ikea chairs (mentioned in "Interactive exhibits" thread)
2/3 of floor will be covered with soft material that is temperature isolator, and on it there will be special beautiful carpets (discovered by Radovan Pekarek and club he represents - tnx, friend :) Idea is to make these facilities work of art, complex, quality, elitist place with note: "this is your home - come in and play"
There are many ideas that we are making reality, like large screen(s), large wall aquarium, interactive Mindstorms displays (like the ones we already use on events). One wall that is suited will have 10x10 48x48 mosaic on wall, with possibility that we change it (baseplates screwed on panel that is screwed on a wall) - we have noticed that making mosaic together is one of activities that bring us the most. Second is making collaborative large scale moc. Third is meetup with diner and music :D Forth is roadtrip :) For example, we will have a large (60x60cm) holotag (you know what is a holotag from our convention) with Aerie, our Lugs United unofficial mascot, and all glasses and liquid holders will have either print, or laser cut with our logo, Aerie or something similar. One wall will be with just pictures of us from events and roadtrips we make as a club, the wall will be same material corks are made of (bark), and pictures will be sticked in them with pins, with no particular order or orientation. We will bring ton of LEGO branded stuff we have to make space "ours" (AFOL's), like old "LEGO AMBASSADOR" shirt I still keep in closet, giant LEGO bricks we buy in LEGO shops, paintings we have received as presents from cities or individuals that represent LEGO bricks or models, and anything we can buy in LEGO shops that are accessories - something we never noticed, until we started planning this adventure :D . One wall will be covered just in baseplates, so people and kids can stick their own msgs, etc.
In this space we will have our large scale creatures (statues, or maxifigs, as we call them). All creations, including maxifigs and mocs are behind self-illuminated displays, similar (or identic) like the ones we already use.
PlayHouse will be opened only when there is need for it, but we are discussing hirering students or volunteers to keep it all time open. Something to decide in the future.
PlayHouse is open to all club members, club members families, friends and families of friends, AFOLs from other clubs (recognized or non-recognized but in the process of recognition, their families and friends). We don't accept unknown people or people who don't have ties with AFOL communities.
Staying and creating or playing in PlayHouse, all drinks and snacks and everything else is free of charge for all guests.
After our members have filled sub-ground storage unit, if there is place, we will open it for members of other clubs - why? First, it is a lot of space (80 m2 is really a lot, especially as we have custom made cupboards on wheels from bottom to ceiling), and our facilities are very secured. We also secure them from floods and fire, by isolating pipes, and securing and rebuilding electrical installations. Nothing is on the ground (all is on shelves), and we have water alarms on floors, as well as smoke alarms on ceilings. We also are covered with cameras and all doors are reinforced. It is practically impossible to break and steal bricks from our storage. We received requests to set aside space in our existing storage units, as well as we asked for space, when we had a ton of things prepared for events :). We believe sharing is important, and one of prerequisite of being happy AFOL community.
All our facilities are covered with surveillance cameras (other storage units have 2 to 6 of them depending on location) with accompanying system that we have bought. Also, we have a special contract with surveillance firm that reacts within 5 minutes from silent alarm sounding, sending a professional security team - we use this in storage units in both countries, same firm, and they are amazingly cheap, 30 e per facility. We tested them, they are fast (and scary:). Our thinking was that we are not jewelry, where you run in, break glass, take a handful and run - we are LEGO themed community, where you need to load and load bricks that you wish to steal :)
Why these strong security measures?
Because LEGO bricks are expensive and we are not rich enough not to care :) This is much cheaper then re-buying all bricks :)
We have purchased these facilities, so that is why the list is so details and direct.
Timetable for opening: September 2019.
I believe we will be open before April 2019. with all enthusiasm members show for this project. It is, without a doubt, a project that largest number of members showed interest in.
Special note - all indoor works, from building displays, kitchen, bar pult (most beautiful thing from wood I can build:), wall painting, montage and all the rest is done by club members volunteers who have particular skill for the task. We also have contact for raw materials that provide up to 50% discounts - this helps a lot with keeping budget within what we can afford.
Wwe have acquired most of needed materials, and space. We could use help with bricks, but we will manage, I am not sure if this is something that can go under Project Support (Kim, can you answer this?)
If someone has more interest in subject of planning and realizing facilities like this, I can share a photo of floor-plan (with both PlayHouse and TalkHouse, as places are in the same building), and our planning drawings. Same as always, if 10% of Ambassadors show interest in any way that I can recognize, I will make a very detailed "how-to" including all planning, train of thoughts, issues and situations we had to come by (there are many things that came up that we didn't foreseen, and we had 12 pages of things we foresaw :) - If you desire, I will set time aside and make a detailed how to text.
Complex will consist from two large rooms with place for sitting or dancing (easily movable tables and chairs), bar in one corner, bathroom facilities and storage area. Surface area around 120 m2
In essence, this is place where a lot of us can sit and have dinner or sit and talk, or sit and sort our Lugbulk, or move all tables and chairs and have a dance party. This is the place where ideas will be born :)
When we gather new round of funds, we will purchase place that is connected with our PlayHouse - we have signed a contract of exclusive possibility of purchase in next five years, and rent until then.
Timetable for opening: September 2020.
The complex will consist from one main stage area, one help room where we will have PC and surveillance knot and storage area and bathroom facilities. Surface area of around 150 m2 TalkHouse will have up to four microphone systems (light, goes around the head, hands-free, wireless, like the one we have), and two microphones for guests for asking questions (standard ones, wireless)
Idea is to use this utilities for primarily LEGO themed subjects, but we will use them for all creative and interesting subjects, anything from CSR to Education and, my personal favorite, Personal Development Skills
All presentations will have possibility of being recorded with fixed cameras.
Due to the lack of resources (at the moment) we can't really say if TalkHouse facilities will be close to ThinkHouse and PlayHouse, but we will do our best.
Timetable for opening: September 2021
Idea is to have our own space that is specialized for our own needs (create, play, brainstorm, present, have fun) which will always be at our disposal, evolved and equipped to suite AFOL's (with children) needs.
These places will be great platform for hosting other communities that visit us. With our extreme cheap lodging facilities (5 eur per night in very high quality apartments, those used for Lugs United), we can manage large scale foreign club visits - those are "no reason" visits, that happen just because of fun and socializing, or for events.
We can also be a great stop for all AFOLs who travel through Serbia. In short, a tavern in the middle of the road for AFOLs :)
These places will also be great support for Lugs United activities
We hope these things will be quality of life fun, creativity and socializing changes.
I can take a picture of PlayHouse how it looks now, unprepared, after we bought it - it's a mess :) but we already love it :D
See you soon, friends :)