Screw Winter, let's go live in SRVDkamp's hot house build!
The nights are growing long, the air is growing cold, and people are putting up sparkly Christmas decorations even though it’s STILL ONLY NOVEMBER SO STOP IT. It’s that time of year again - no, we don’t mean Christmas, we mean the time of year where going outside involves nerves of steel and roughly ten billion layers. One day, I will ban winter. Just you wait.
Until then, I'm comforting my frostbitten heart with this cosy, lovely Spanish villa! Built by Raoul (also known as SRVDkamp), it's a charming home with warm, well-lit nooks to curl up and read a book, and a beautifully manicured garden in the front. This house puts mine to shame - mostly because I have no idea how to keep plants alive in this lousy season. CURSE YOU, WINTER.
Raoul is an experienced builder with a particular interest in building houses. He has built houses in the Victorian style (lots of pillars), Craftsman style (lots of wood and stone) and European style (lots of… garages??) and now his latest project is this Spanish-inspired villa.
“What I like about these different traditional style houses is that for each style, you have different features,” Raoul tells me. “That’s why I made the Spanish villa. I never made one before, and I really wanted to learn the style. I was looking for a difficult challenge!”
And what a challenge it was. For a start, Spanish architecture has a lot of curves, something Minecraft isn’t exactly known for, and you can see those curves in the front of Raoul’s house on the archways above the windows and the front door. We think he did a pretty good job, actually!
“It’s far from easy to build a house like this,” Raoul adds. “You don’t work with inches like in real life, you work with blocks instead - so it’s hard to get the scale right.”
On top of that, he says, trying to get the colours right can be a pain - especially because there isn’t a wide range of colours for all Minecraft blocks, so sometimes you can be stuck building a house out of wool. (Pro tip: don’t try that in real life. You will get very cold.)
“Of course, getting these things right gets easier over time,” Raoul admits. “But every new house is a new challenge, with other obstacles. For example, the spiral staircase in my spanish house. You work with angular shapes, which made it hard to create a organic shape. I was working on this staircase for about 2 hours.”
Spirals, curved edges and circles: the bane of any Minecraft builder’s life!
But we have one question: if it takes years of study to learn how to build good houses, how does Raoul do it? “I can’t go outside and look around me, because we don’t have those kind of houses in Holland,” Raoul says. “When I am new to a style I always look at, or even use, pictures and floor plans of a specific style first.”
Floor plans can be found online for free, and give you a good idea of what a properly designed house should look like - dimensions, layout, shape and everything.
It might seem like “cheating” to some, but Raoul doesn’t mind.
“Let’s be real here,” he says. “I am not an architect. I am also not afraid to say that all the features I used are from things I see on pictures! I also get a lot of positive reactions from people that can see how hard it is to create a realistic house in Minecraft and don’t mind that I used already existing houses.”
If there’s one message to take away from Raoul’s work, it’s that using real-world inspiration for your builds isn’t something to be ashamed of - it can actually improve your work!
Raoul has one last piece of advice for budding builders: “A lot of people I play with are afraid to do things wrong, or don’t want to lose the rank that they worked so hard for. But becoming a good builder is all about practice, and finding your own style. Try to use all the feedback you get in a positive way!”
Minecraft advice, or advice for life? Why not both?