When I mentioned “the domed amphitheater that seats tens of thousands” in my introduction to Aurora, I did not name this architectural marvel correctly. It is more appropriately called The Holodome. Situated on the lower level of Aurora next to the main plaza, it is part of the central complex of gathering places and is the only building specifically constructed to accommodate all of Aurora’s 50,000 or so citizens and guests at one time. We will be attending a performance there tonight but first, let me tell you some wondrous things about this facility.
It is not as big as you might think. Due to the flexible nature of space in the higher realms, buildings and starships may appear smaller on the outside than they do on the inside. As I have said before, I do not understand some of the physics yet but I have seen enough demonstrations of the principles involved to assure you that this true and correct. The Holodome is similar in size to a typical enclosed sports arena back in the Old Third. However, the inside dimensions are completely adjustable to the size of the audience taking part in the various events, which are indeed numerous.
For example, when a chamber orchestra performs for an audience of only 500, the interior space of the Dome adjusts, so that there is a feeling of closeness and intimacy. On the other hand, when we call for a general assembly of the entire population of Aurora, the same interior space expands to hold upwards of 50,000 persons with ample room and comfort for each participant. It’s quite amazing to experience this firsthand and those of us new to the higher realms just shake our heads and enjoy it.
Let me describe the outside appearance a bit more. The Holodome is a round building and the roof is a dome. This dome is made of a glass-like material that can be transparent, translucent or opaque, depending upon the type of event and the desired effect of the producers. The dome can even be removed, thus turning it into a true amphitheater. For events held on warm, summer nights, we often fill the “Dome” to capacity.
Around the outside of the building are located our library and university. These facilities are small in comparison to some in other parts of our world, as Aurora’s focus is on temple culture, rather than on education. However, through our extensive galactic library and educational networks, one can get a vast education right here at home. — literally. The viewing screens in our homes are connected to both the Galactic Library System and the Galactic Central University. No one need travel far for advanced academic studies, unless they want to.
I will discuss our educational opportunities in depth in a future installment. For now, I want to continue with my description of the physical appearance of the exterior of the Holodome. There are four main entrances to the theater; they are situated at the four cardinal points of north, south, east and west. Through these magnificent gateways, each of them uniquely designed and artistically embellished, the attendees enter for the various programs and events. As art is an ever-evolving activity in Aurora, the designs on and around the gateways change periodically. This keeps things interesting and allows us to practice non-attachment. All previous versions exist in the archives, of course, which can be visited at any time.
Along the remainder of the external face of the Holodome are the classrooms and library reading rooms, open to the public for everyone’s use and enjoyment. I should interject here that the schools for our young people are housed within Aurora’s towers, close to the family living units. The classrooms in the Holodome are available to adults who wish to augment their understanding of any subject, at any level of difficulty. The outside face of these rooms is also made of the same glass-like substance as the roof and can be adjusted to be transparent, translucent or opaque, according to the occupant’s needs or desires. Finally, encircling the entire building is a circular walkway bordered by a short railing, beyond which is the exquisite landscaping of the grounds of Aurora.
If you would choose to use a room on the western side of the Holodome, you would look out into the main plaza, where a multi-storied arboretum is canopied by towering trees filled with colorful, singing birds. The plaza is a highly popular gathering place for our citizens, who frequent the cafes and artisan galleries, as well as the inviting benches and tables available for conversations and/or taking refreshments. Here you could enjoy your learning process while observing the comings and goings of Aurora’s citizenry. If you would rather look north, toward the Transport Hub (description coming in a future installment) you will be treated to the arrival and departure of many small aerocraft, foot traffic on the lower Light Bridge and Hover Discs bringing people over to the plaza from the Hub. In either of the above scenarios, if the view becomes distracting, you only need to choose the “opaque” option and the glass will darken into a “solid” wall, allowing you to deepen your awareness within. Perhaps you would enjoy a more natural setting for your studies or reading. Both the east-facing and south-facing classrooms/library rooms enjoy the sweeping vistas of the surrounding countryside: the lower Echadon Valley to the east and the great Southern Desert to the south. These rooms are extremely popular and fill quickly. However, turnover is also rapid and you can always enjoy the plaza while you wait for your preferred room to become available. As I mentioned earlier, you can also choose to learn in the comfort of your own home, while projecting a holographic image of any of the above scenes onto your wall.
Tonight we will be attending a most engaging performance, one that will help you to understand why this building is called the Holodome. Please join us, if you can; there is always plenty of room for anyone who wants to come along.
To Be Continued . . .
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