Beyond the Sea

A futuristic city emerges from the oceans!

Human architecture is one of the greatest achievements of mankind. Go to any city and you’ll see for yourself; the sculpture of a London skyscraper, the decadence of a Dubai hotel, the futuristic glow of the Hong Kong skyline - it’s all a tribute to the human need to build bigger, higher, brighter.

We can’t all be architects, though. The biggest thing I’ve ever built is a structurally unsound Lego tower that probably wouldn’t meet any sort of building regulations. But today’s builder, Turnip_N0se, creates incredible cities that don’t need to be checked over by the authorities, because they’re all virtual. TAKE THAT, THE MAN.

You might be thinking that Asgardia, Turnip_N0se’s latest build, has a touch of Atlantis to it - and you’d be right. “I started recreating ‘Atlantis’ from the Stargate Atlantis series, based on a simple 3D model converted into Minecraft,” Turnip says. “After about 20% [of it was built] I began losing motivation. So I started gathering the stuff i already made, and thought what i could do with it. I slowly built a city design around the buildings I already had.”

The finished result is amazing - it’s partly futuristic sci-fi, partly Atlantis, with elements that could fit into the Zora city from the latest Zelda game and the underwater Gungan city in Naboo from Phantom Menace.

The city lights up in different colours, from icy white to a softer blue and cyan. “Choosing a colour palette is the first thing I do for a project,” says Turnip. “With the 1.12 update there came a lot of new grey blocks, so I decided to use all of those blocks. I chose blue and cyan to complete the palette.” The result is a city that glows in the middle of an ocean, like bioluminescent algae or jellyfish, a wonder of nature, science, and art.

Turnip_N0se describes it as an “autonomic city of future times” - meaning that it runs entirely self-sufficiently. You might notice the windmills in one of the pictures - “it has its own windpark for the huge amount of energy needed,” says Turnip_N0se - and glasshouses where “the food supply for the whole city” is kept.

This isn’t just an aesthetically-pleasing build, it’s one where the builder has thought about what it’s like to actually live there. Turns out, it’s not that easy to live in an isolated city in the middle of the ocean, unless you really, really like fish.

But when Asgardia’s inhabitants aren’t wolfing down freshly-grown lettuce by the soft light of their their wind-generated electricity, they’re having fun. There’s an Opera House, partly designed by Turnip_N0se’s fellow builder, Kellerbier, which is “inspired by the Harbin Opera House,” and a museum that’s influenced by “a pretty famous lotus house concept” that Turnip found on Pinterest.

There’s even art to admire, from the imposing statue at the entrance to the city to the natural art of the trees that grow there.

Sadly, if you visited Asgardia, you’d find that the interiors don’t match the exteriors - they’re either totally empty, or totally filled in. “It’s not worth it to make interiors,” Turnip says, which is apparently quite common in the Minecraft building community. Although, there are plenty of interior design-focused builders out there, too!

“I think Minecraft is such a good platform for creative people,,” says Turnip_N0SE, “because it has such an easy access to start making. You can make it very complex by using plugins - like FAWE with mathematical formulas and so on - but basically it’s simple.”

Plus, even at his skill level, he still finds himself learning how to get better at building constantly.

“Learning is something everyone does every time,” says Turnip. “It's not my main intention to learn, but I will, whether I want to or not.”

Renders by LNeoX, Antrelial, Cmelvardx, fixaaay, Splekh and justinfeig

Written By
Kate Gray