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2018 MTS Calendar Contest - posted on 12th Nov 2017 at 8:48 PM
Cap & Gown...

Date Posted: 29th Mar 2016 at 5:47 AM

OK, so a cathedral gave me a lot of good inspiration... for entirely non-cathedral things! I was enjoying working on the different Gothic elements that were going into it, and more often than not, meeting with at least a reasonable amount of success, but I'm still not pleased with the overall effect of the (now three) cathedrals I've put together, so I'm setting that aside for the moment and focusing my creative energies on a different aspect of Gothic design- a college campus!

OK, so that might take a bit more than just Gothic design... My mental image of the completed campus is a custom SC4 terrain with a river flowing out to sea running through the middle (obviously bridged in several locations with the neighborhood deco bridge), a Collegiate Gothic campus a la Yale University on a promontory in the river, and a small New England-esque village on the other bank (and maybe behind the university too). In my mind, it looks great, so hopefully once it's finished it will actually measure up! So far all I have is a fairly good draft of the terrain (I hate the SC4 terrain modification controls with a passion, so I've been fighting with that for a couple days) and some concrete elements that I'm going to include in various buildings once I'm to that point (lots of tester lots being built and destroyed in this process, but I'm very happy with elements of the library, Old Main, and bell tower at this point, plus less fully-formed ideas for several different dormitory buildings... so that's promising.

Because I know I'll forget them if I don't have someplace to list them though, I want a rundown of buildings I've so far thought of to be sure to include on campus... lots of ideas from Yale, since I still have almost all the "apply here!" publications that every college sent me, back when I was trying to decide where to go for my undergrad!

-Old Main (duh)
-Probably about a half-dozen dormitories
-Library
-Bell Tower
-Central Quad/(open space in the main avenue up campus in front of Old Main)
-An American football stadium
-A track & field center
-A campus health center
-A concert hall (with a new interpretation of the pipe organs that I've been having such fun designing!)
-Buildings for each major (or maybe consolidate a few... literature & philosophy... drama & art... there's a few that combine well...
-A campus chapel
-A secret society that actually looks like a secret society! (Skull & Bones, maybe... I'm getting a lot of inspiration from Yale)

And then of course,there's all the stuff that needs to be included to make the town off-campus feel believable too, and be a comfortable place for students living on their own or fraternites... plus, I want to be able to have a little more architectural variety than just Gothic!

-Traditional New England church
-Plenty of bars appropriate for different areas of interest
-Same for coffee shops
-"Apartments" that are dormitories done with a different approach (we'll have to see if that actually works the way I think it will...)
-A small shopping district for things like groceries, clothes, etc
-Parks of the non-university variety

And I'm sure more, but this is what I've thought of today!
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Cathedral Re-design

Date Posted: 14th Mar 2016 at 6:53 AM

I've debated the use of having a journal to better lay out current projects here for a while, and my current cathedral bid has finally got me convinced. There's just too much going on there!

As a proof-of-concept, I'm absolutely satisfied with it. Certain elements I'm even happy enough with to say that they might be "finished" (the two pipe organs spring immediately to mind, as does the effect of a recessed portal on the front facade), but others, like the buttresses along the exterior walls, and the upper half of the bell towers, not so much...

So now I'm faced with the always-difficult decision: Is this lot salvageable as-is? Or would I do better to start over and be able to fine-tune certain elements right from the beginning? I'm inclined to go with starting over, since fixing the proportions (which aren't horrible, but also aren't perfect, and I think it might be possible to get them perfect) would be impossible on the lot right now, and the level of changes I want to make to the bell tower (which I'm still not sure of, other than that I don't really like it as it stands now) would be a pretty huge undertaking...

Thank goodness for the obsessive cathedral detailing so many architects over the centuries have done! I can at least see where I've gone wrong, and I know a few things I want to include in another cathedral!

1. STOP OFFSETTING THE TOWERS. (or really, stop making the towers first!) I'm pretty sure this is what comes of making the front facade first instead of last (or at least somewhere in the middle), but the bell towers are the widest part right now, when they really should line up more-or-less exactly with the aisles for the design I want.

2. Make sure the nave and transept are the same width, or at least both odd or both even in width... the steeple over the crossing can't be symmetrical otherwise, and I'm stuck making it entirely out of columns, which gives it an inappropriately delicate feel when compared with the rest of the building.

3. Flying buttresses should start on TOP of the aisles, not next to them outside. This is where my proportions are all out of whack right now.

4. Walls are tricky in cathedrals... they're kind of prone to giving a harsher line to the interior if used there, but it might be possible to still do it right with the use of arches and columns to break them up a bit... we'll have to see. It'd certainly be easier than using as many columns as I am right now!

5. Seriously- where are the bathrooms supposed to go in a grandiose cathedral like this?
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