Andyisyoda explores past and present house design!
The beautiful thing about Minecraft is how you gradually improve as a player, honing your craft, slowly developing your skill – and your personal taste often follows suit. Small, dirty shacks becomes beautiful villas, simple cobblestone is replaced with jungle tree or terracotta, and that pile of sand blocks you threw on the floor instead of building a bed becomes an actual bed.
This is all to say that there comes a time in every Minecraft player’s life when they suddenly want to take their house building skills to the next level. Perhaps it’s time to try out a whole new design? One that incorporates a feeling of both style and luxury. I’m talking, of course, about building a tacky castle entirely out of gold! Wait, that’s not it. I’m actually talking about modern architecture!
Two of the most popular building styles in Minecraft are modern architecture and contemporary architecture. The difference? Contemporary is the architecture of its time, using innovative approaches and minimalist design choices to make the house of tomorrow – today! Modern architecture on the other hand is – despite its name – quite old. With concrete-heavy creations such as Fallingwater or Villa Savoye, it dates back to the early 1920’s. What unites the two styles is how good their themes fit into the game.
“The reason modern and contemporary houses seem to lend themselves to Minecraft probably stems from the fact that we build with square blocks,” says Andyisyoda, a professional YouTuber and aspiring architect, known for his skills with these styles. “Many modern houses have a lot of clean-looking straight lines, a relative lack of diagonal lines and a strong horizontal composition. Just place blocks in simple rows, add some carefully placed windows and a few vertical elements and you already have something that looks like a real-life house.”
When he’s not featured in Minecraft.net articles, Andy is busy making inspirational builds on his channel, including ones in the modern architecture style. He initially began his Minecraft path by focusing on traditional mansions, before moving onto modern and contemporary designs in 2014. With plenty of experience gained over the years, Andy knows the theme by heart, what makes it look good and how to learn it.
“You can have fun looking at real buildings and taking inspiration from them, studying floor-plans and even trying to recreate a real house from plans, pictures and videos – this is the challenge!”
Andy may look at real house floor plans, pictures and videos, but he doesn’t let himself become constrained by them – he still goes off script in his own design. Sometimes he’ll take inspiration from particular aspects of a house (like its layout or facade), but this is just the jumping-off point for a modern house of his own design!
Hey, remember the second paragraph where I made a HILARIOUS joke about building a house made of gold? Well... turns out a golden house might not even be close to as excessive and over the top as one of Andy’s recent builds.
“I did this 20+ hour livestream, where I built my version of the Bel Air mansion ‘The One’. I could not find any floor plans for it, so we had fun designing the most ridiculously lavish house possible, complete with bowling lanes, a YouTube recording room, cinema, tennis courts and even a helipad! While it was a fun build, I still tried to make sure the layout was sensible, the rooms had good views and the build would work for the rich people living in it!“
Luckily, you don’t have to be stupidly rich to be able to build modern architecture in Minecraft! But getting started with a modern house might be easier said than done. For Creative Mode players, a block is just a few mouse clicks away, but as a Survival player, it might take hours for you to collect the necessary materials – and there are plenty needed if you want to get it right!
“A good modern house builder will think about their palate, meaning which blocks they’ll use to build it,” explains Andy. “My best advice is to stick to blocks like white concrete, light grey concrete, and stone – or similar – for the walls. White and grey work well together, especially if tied together with brown wood.”
Obtaining necessary materials like concrete requires you to be close to sand and gravel. In order to create concrete, you need to mix these two ingredients – including the colour you want to dye the block with – to create concrete powder blocks. Once you place the blocks, you have to expose them to water to make them solidify. However, according to Andy, these builds can incorporate any colour, depending on their location.
“Bright white builds can stand out nicely in a suburban setting, but if your build has lots of landscape around it you might want to reflect that with your block choice. Choosing some natural looking materials will be more restful on the eye. For contemporary builds pretty much, anything goes! I have seen black houses, white, red, totally wooden and even brutalist all-stone designs and they all looked amazing. Use your imagination!”
I remember the last time I had to use my imagination. It was when one of my friends invited me to his Minecraft house. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it looked amazing on the outside! But as soon as we walked in, I saw that the walls were made of dirt. Turns out 'beautiful on the inside' doesn't always apply to house design.
“I really hate ‘clutter’ in houses!” Andy tells me, much to my delight. “I prefer minimalist furnishings, open spaces and sleek design. I also like smart looking build materials which can be exposed to give an honest look to the house – in other words, you can appreciate the engineering and choice of material.”
Speaking of engineering, as the experienced builder he is after all the houses he’s made over the years, Andy knows exactly which type of blocks he would love to see added to Minecraft to improve the quality of life in build projects: “Vertical slabs, glass slabs and layers of grass and coarse dirt. The main one from that list being vertical slabs – this would be amazing for the internal walls of a build as a full block is often too thick.“
Building a modern or contemporary house in-game is no small undertaking. It needs to have plenty of light, a decent amount of space, and plenty of blocks of the right materials. One of Andy’s latest builds, “Pheasants”, consists of 2800 polished granite blocks, 1500 smooth quartz blocks, 1300 light gray concrete blocks, as well as over 500 glass panes. But that’s not the only option if you ask Andy.
“A more modest two bedroom modern house I found on my server has 2000 snow blocks and 1500 jungle planks as the main ingredients.”
3500 blocks in total? I play Survival! How am I going to collect them all? I guess I know what I’ll be doing during the holidays. Going back to building dirt shacks suddenly doesn't sound so bad after all...