City on a Bridge

San Francisco’s largest landmark becomes a home to thousands!

Even if you’ve never seen the Golden Gate Bridge in person, you know what it looks like. A stunning red suspension bridge strung across San Francisco Bay. It stood there for 69 years before Magneto flew it over to Alcatraz... wait, that’s X-Men 3, not real-life. The first bit is true, though. And it’s why today’s builder, Runzi, used it as the basis for his creation. All your expectations of one of the world's most recognisable landmarks are subverted in his build Pacific Point Remastered. He turned the bridge into an apocalyptic city

Runzi wanted to explore how a landmark could evolve when refugees settled upon it. A lot of post-apocalyptic Minecraft builds are architectural marvels, but he strived to show the human element. “A build showcasing a possible scenario for how we live after the post-apocalypse is rare,” he explains. “Here, people have relocated onto the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s still mostly intact and is capable of supporting housing, the bridge is tower retrofitted to support other equipment and amenities.”  

After a week working on the terrain and vegetation, he set out to build the centrepiece: a 1:2 replica of the bridge. Well, almost a replica. In his vision, a huge section of the bridge plummets to the water, cutting off access from one end. On the remaining structures, a large-scale shantytown of stacked containers forms a city.  

The little container houses are stacked all the way to the top of the bridge. From the ground there’s no end in sight (literally: it’s too big for the game to load all at once). If you walk across it, it feels haphazard, but Runzi admits there are a few tricks being played on you: “Some structures such as the containers and the vehicles are copy-pasted, to make it seem like a legitimate city with a variety of locations.” 

It’s a grim setting, but Runzi worked hard to make things feel liveable. Each has a living room (with a large TV, made with buttons and black wool), a kitchen, and a cosy bedroom. There are even air conditioners made with a block of iron and a mounted head. No toilets, though. The solution? Well, there’s a whole sea down there… No. The people recycle everything.  

There are six variations of houses, and a few bespoke ones at the top of the bridge where the supports come together. A couple of them have cosy verandas and views you can soak up, while those below have to make do staring across at their neighbours, or at the large carrier ship holding more housing. There are a few lovely details on the carrier. All the blocks at the waterline are rusty red, and the sides are a mix of blocks to make it look weathered. It’s been there a while. 

Pacific Point Remastered came together in just three weeks. Despite the grim setting, Runzi is happy with the end result: “I don’t plan for most of my builds,” he admits. “I went with the flow, since I already knew what features there will be and where they will be located. I’m happy how each building, vehicle, and structure blends in seamlessly with the environment, giving the vibes of a true post-apocalyptic settlement.” 

So what’s happened here? What’s driven people to turn the bay into a settlement? Runzi won’t say. It’s up to your own interpretation. There are clues, though. Sunken boats dot the bay, tanks idle on the bridge, and aggressive helicopters circle the skies. It’s a busy and well-defended harbour. To me, it’s a tactical set-up. There’s no defence against a huge weather event, nor does it feel like a giant lizard will swoop in with a clawed hand and pose dramatically with a fistful of people. To me, it feels like humanity has once again decided it’s us against them. No winners. There never is. There’s just people, stuck in a city on a bridge, hoping for a better future.  

Written By
Craig Pearson