Very professionally done; I love that you got the scale to feel (or look, I haven't explored it) 'right' despite that it's build in Minecraft - so many people build things way too small thinking they're trying to build it to-scale, only to have it look to small because the blocks are 1M^3.
And the way you used all those different materials to achieve that look is excellent; I hope your city develops as well as your cathedral clearly has.
The savefile is almost 4 GB, and just viewing the cartograph will give you a BSoD.
But we still do have free tours, and you can see everything with your own eyes - and you can apply to be a member and stay in the city, socialize with other members, and help build the latest megaprojects.
I toured the server, absolutely brilliant work here. My cathedrals collapsed to the weight of such epicness. Very inspiring though. I now want to build bigger, even better. I shall find time to do so! Even if it kills me!
Seriously, amazing work guys. Everyone needs to take a tour of this behemoth.
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Creator of the Cathedral of Notch and Cathedral of Notch 2/Mojang Cathedral.
Featured on http://ecookie.de, sedentarygecko's Archive of Great Builds, and Paininabox's Thread O' Links
It's just executional genius rather than architectural, which is something to be proud of in its own right.
"Executional" to me is indeed a very appropriate term when discussing the Doric temple, as that project was more about reproductions of historical building techniques I had studied. I disagree with the use of the term if used with respect to the cathedral complex; the reason may partially be illustrative of the difference in though processes of contemporary post modernists, and classicists. Generally, most classical architecture is highly precedent oriented (learning from other structures), and I think the reason for this is that classcists tend to feel that there are certain "universal" principles that further the human experience of any building they are depicted by; for this reason, most classical buildings borrow heavily from designs whose principles the classicist respects. This does not equate to "copying", since the principles are changed and adopted to reflect circumstance, and the unique romantic views of the designer, etc. Generally most modernist and post-modernist designs do this too, but in a more disguised and harder- to discern fashion. Generally the modernist will extract principles of what they feel were successful buildings, and use them to generate a system of forms to meet their needs and visions.
To say that use of precedent is not design would be to deny that any of the architects of the last 2000 years prior 20th century were designers; what the classical tradition does is to recite the principles of past successful works, and to seek to generate new works with their own forms and details, but evincing the same "universals".
Working from a classical mindset, this is how I approached the cathedral and city; I agree that very much of the cathedral itself is not "new" per se, and I would never design that way in the real world; it is an expression of the forms and ideas of 150 years of French Gothic; the plan and tectonics are well-understood idealizations of these. Small details such as the floor patterns and tectonic massings are invented, however. The grounds, on the other hand, I would say tend toward the inventive side; they use ideas found in many other sites, but combine and synthesize concepts in a way that does not exist in another design, and in my opinion express a new idea; the group of fountains at the front facade I think expresses concepts I have seen in Calatrava for instance, but in form I have not encountered yet. The crypt to me, while using classical proportions and forms, I feel is also a new expression, as the massing, volumes, and the overall experience do not describe any past works I am aware of.
I feel you bring up a very relevant criticism, however, as there is much shame (and I think rightfully so) for those of us who in the real world produce merely recreations of historic architectural period styles, without developing new expressions and or personal vision from them. Good architecture to me requires very much study of past successful structures, but it also requires the expression of personal drives and conceptions for it to attain the level of art.
I apologize for being so verbose here... I am just trying to explain though-processes and motivations here, as architectural theory is something farily central to my work so far; I feel from your comments, however, that we may be on close to the same page.
True, it's a matter of opinion and I am in no way claiming yours or anyone else's is wrong. I just don't agree with it. A great piece of architecture is in my opinion first and foremost something original. Something unique created by the architect that hasn't been seen before.
Of course an architect can borrow or draw inspiration from existing designs, but the end result should be something truly unique to him, that could not have been produced by someone else. And this cathedral, although a very impressive combination of characteristics of the original buildings, simply does not give me that feeling.
Because of these criteria, I'm also very reluctant to throw around terms like 'best' and 'greatest'. 2 designs can be great on their own merits, but so different, that comparing them would be pointless. A picture of what I consider the greatest piece of architecture in Minecraft therefor doesn't exist, but I can provide some examples of what I consider great.
All of these have a very strong, own identity to them. Before I saw these, I had never seen anything like them and I've never seen anything like them since. These buildings create a category of their own, which makes them truly stand out from the masses. And even though I don't always share their taste in design (that underwater city is not to my taste at all), I do acknowledge and respect the creativity that went into it.
Now, just to be clear, I am in no way saying that this cathedral is a piece of crap, because it obviously isn't. I absolutely love the attention to detail that went into the design. The decoration of the floor and ceiling are without a doubt the finest I've seen in Minecraft yet. This is something I also admired in the Greek Temple sunflower did before. Sunflower's ability to translate a real life design into a workable, gorgeous building in the world of Minecraft, and without texture packs at that, is simply genius. It's just executional genius rather than architectural, which is something to be proud of in its own right.
Just to clarify, I chose the title "greatest architecture ever" mainly as a tongue-in-cheek way to attract views, lol; in earnest, I would in no way make that claim, and such a claim would lack meaning anyhow, as good architecture is about the experience of place, and experience is personal.
And I do like the selections you provide as well. The first one is pretty good, but could maybe use a bit more development of detail. The second one shows a powerful command of boolean geometry, and has an extremely rational order to it such that even as a modernist structure, it is in some senses reminiscent of some Italian classicists like Guarano Guarini.
The third structure, in my opinion, has significantly more of a design element at work than either of the others, or the work I have shown in this topic. It is highly stylized and curvaceous, and provides a profound number of abstract transcendent moments that harmonize well, and the textures serve the spirit of the design well.
I did the design work, but about 10 people occasionally helped (stuff like, "build this wall according the model I set here", or "add torches to this to achieve such and such effect", or "fix all these stairs that world-edit messed up", or "help me tile this roof", etc). Most of the impressiveness of the scale was able to be created mainly because classical designs are so modular, and you can copy and paste elements over and over, fixing corner conditions.