Haunted by murderous ghosts? Let's find out!
I've never been murdered by a ghost (at time of writing), but if that was going to happen to me anywhere, it'd likely be in one of the spooktacularly creepy Gothic mansions you'll find all over the United Kingdom. These eerie mansions were constructed during the Victorian era and remnants of the period are still around today - travel across the UK, you’ll see it in a lot of the buildings. Sinister stuff…
Undeniably eye-catching though, which is likely why Victorian architecture is still somewhat dominant in some areas in the UK and has influenced design around the world. In the case of today's featured crafter, Paulzero, it’s influenced his Minecraft builds!
Coming from a creative background, building in Minecraft suits Paulzero. Outside of the game, he folds origami figures and paints, but Minecraft offers him a different kind of canvas. “While building you have a variety of blocks with different colors and textures that allow you to do almost everything. It’s your own imagination that sets boundaries - as well as the maximum altitude in Minecraft…”
He’s built a few very different creations, from a giant dragon to a medieval harbour, but he’s now starting on a new series of builds, all inspired by Victorian architecture. So far, this new series primarily consists of the grandiose houses of the upper class, where Victorian architecture often melds with the Gothic to create a style that’s tall and imposing. Even the interiors are decorated, with clever use of half blocks and stair blocks to create arches.
Because of improved technology through the Victorian era, more buildings were becoming intricate and patterned, and that sort of style is what Paulzero is trying to capture. “The Victorian style has lots of delicate details that appeal to me, maybe due to the fact that I have been living in a house of the 19th century for years.” I guess living in a Victorian house would help you learn the style well! I’m going to try a similar strategy next time I build a coffin.
In his latest mansion build, there’s a few key details that show off the Victorian style. The tower on the left, with its spire and detail, is one of the many Gothic-inspired features of Victorian buildings, and the asymmetrical design developed over the 19th century - a response to highly symmetrical designs that had previously been built.
Paulzero took inspiration from real Victorian buildings he found in photographs and applied their nuances to his own recreations. As such, many of the small details here can be traced back to real houses. Smart!
The tower and porch - two key parts to Victorian architecture - are what Paulzero is especially proud of. The way they “harmonise,” in Paulzero’s own words, is the true achievement of the build. The way they draw the eye, evoking that feeling of buildings from the era.
This mansion took Paulzero just four days to complete, as he built it slowly, focusing on each detail in turn. All of its composite parts gradually came together to form the intricate final build - the labyrinth garden leading to an enormous doorway, the towering roof spires and the general aura of ‘oh man, I’m never going to be able to afford to live somewhere like this.” : (
Another mansion is likely to be on the cards for Paulzero's next project, but beyond that, Victorian gardens with a town hall and churches are also on his radar, as well as a medieval city with a full story and series of quests behind it. There’s no real time frame on them, sadly - they’ll be done when they’re done!
“Over the couple years of playing Minecraft I was able to improve my visual thinking overall,” he explains.
“But [I] have also learned to care about little details that stand out most in a building, like turrets or interesting patterns around the windows. Moreover I realised something very important: never compare your buildings. There will always be somebody that made something bigger and more impressive, don't let them discourage you and continue with your passion.”
You heard the man! Start working on your dream mansion build now! I said NOW.