Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thornhaven Manor

This project is a spin-off from the theme park concepts you usually see here.  I was approached to conceptualize the re-development of a recently-acquired historic manor house (built in 1845 on seven acres in Indiana).  The new owner (the man behind this project) has re-named the estate Thornhaven Manor.  Here are some photos of the estate as it currently exists:




 The current house is over 6,000 sq.ft. and features 25ft ceilings.  The property has a lot of woods, a small orchard, large barn, and natural spring.  For more photos or information on the property and its history (or to follow its progress) check out the Thornhaven Manor Facebook page.

Now, the idea here is to convert this entire property into an entertainment/recreational venue in the vein of the Haunted Mansion, Clue, the Addams Family, etc.  The commercial possibilities include themed weekend excursions, corporate events, a haunted bed & breakfast style inn, paranormal tours, murder-mystery-comedy experiences, or a game akin to "Ten Little Indians."  This is a place where adventures await: full of secret passages, hidden chambers, a staff of unusual servants, an eccentric lord.  The grounds could include a hedge maze, family crypt and servants quarters.

As a designer, my first step was to address what the main house should look like and how it could be reasonably altered from what is there now to make it more theatrical.    There are no known blueprints for the house, so I created a conceptual elevation/color study from scratch by looking at the few photographs of the building:



The original house is in the Italianate style, so when adding the dominating tower, I drew from that school.   The room at the top of the tower could be a SFX-laden Seance Room  - in the adventure the visitors could go from room to room (Billiard Room, Conservatory, Music Room, Parlor, Basement Laboratory, Attic, etc.) for different experiences.  In a direct nod to MK's Haunted Mansion, I added a glass & wrought-iron conservatory being taken over by vines & mosses.  The west wing facade remains the fading whitewashed brick, while the central portion of the house would have character plaster facade of crumbling stucco revealing clay brick beneath (as Disney often does at their parks).  I added an attic dormer to increase usable space.  Similarly, I put in a caged basement window.  Chimneys all received extensions to give multi-peak look to the building.

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This project is in its early stages.  Maybe in future posts you will see an illustrated floorplan, a site plan or other artwork for Thornhaven.  

18 comments:

Amaru said...

Oooh! Interesting! Are you an Architect in real life or work in Design/construction becasuse you seem very knowledgeable and really good on AutoCAD.

Is this the attraction(s) supposed to be just included in the house or will it be also in the grounds, barn, woods etc.

I take it, it isn't a theme park, but more of an complex that incorparates attractions similar to that at HHN at universal (if that particular direction was chosen)with the hotel added.

This looks very intriuging and I'd love to see how your ideas unfold and looking forward to soon seeing the progress in the future!

kermitdefrog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kermitdefrog said...

This is really awesome.

Brian Crosby said...

So awesome. Keep it up. I love seeing this and your other works. Good luck!

Pastor_of_Muppets said...

Really hope that this is a design that's being developed into an actual themed location, as it's a great concept with a lot of potential. People would probably have to book a year in advance to get a room during the month of October. Looking forward to seeing updates on the project (maybe a B.E.V. of the grounds, for instance).

SWW said...

^Appreciate all those taking the time to leave a comment.

Pastor - It is a real project under development... early stages.

Amaru - the grounds would be a significant part of the experience (in addition to the main house), but it would still be a small scale, premium entertainment venue (Adventurers Club extrapolated?). Have you seen "The Game" starring Michael Douglas? It could be something along those lines: an advanced role-playing experience that blurs the line between fiction and reality.


comics101 said...

I can't wait to see this project completed! When finished The entire idea just sounds amazing! I hope to have the opportunity to see it when it's completed!

Pastor_of_Muppets said...

Very cool that someone is looking to convert their property into an attraction like this. Small-scale, heavily themed, and with a variety of things to do over a night or a weekend. Personally, I think a lot of people underestimate the popularity of Halloween or horror themed attractions, and believe that something like Thornhaven Manor could operate year-round and be successful. The equivalent of an Easter Egg hunt in the haunted maze for that time of the year; haunted Christmas; etc. Really cool idea here. Looking forward to seeing it develop.

Justin M said...

Love Love Love your work! What program(s) do you use to make this stuff?

kermitdefrog said...

I just started to wonder what would happen if Six Flags decided to turn its Great Adventure park in New Jersey into a Tier 1, world-class, Disney-style theme park.

Amaru said...

^^^^
I think they would have get rid of a lot of rides (such as RT, GASM, etc)

kermitdefrog said...

@Amaru The Great American Scream Machine was taken down two years ago.

ProjectTurtle said...

Great Job SWW may i ask who you work for or what company or is this a side project

Amaru said...

@kermitdefrog lol! I've not got a good memory.

SWW said...

Appreciate the comments,

Turtle, side project.

Justin, AutoCAD

Kermit, taking SFGA from Tier III to Tier I would be quite an undertaking. From what I can see, it has loads of naked coasters and off-the-shelf rides to remove or significantly enhance. What it does have going for it is the giant Safari - that could be the centerpiece of an African or Animal-based land - based on which species are kept. Maybe a Northwest-themed area around the lake and log fume. So much would have to be altered to get the park to Tier I... will be interesting to see your take on it. Let me know what you come up with...





Pastor_of_Muppets said...

@SWW

I haven't actually drawn even a basic outline of the park yet, but would you be interested in taking a look at a theme park concept based around the Discovery Channel, if I can find the time to draw it up? I've essentially got a rough idea of the placement and theming of the various lands, but drawing (of any kind; even with a computer) has never been a strong suit of mine.

SWW said...

^ Always happy to take a look, but can't promise anything. Sounds like a very interesting basis for a park. Give drawing a shot... take your time, you may surprise yourself.

HappyFunLand said...

Looks like a classic haunted house facade to me or a London dungeon type attraction.