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How to craft a great skyscraper - An Interview with Ryer

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avatar LightlySaltedBuilder
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
For part four of my series on modern building, the topic is skyscrapers, if you couldn't tell from the title. Now for this blog, I found Ryer!. He's built 40 skyscrapers, all of them awesome, and he's been featured on Minecraft.net. That's actually how I found him in the first place, I was really impressed by his towers. Here's some pictures of them so you can see, but make sure to go to his profile for more. (He also has beautiful renders)

Spoiler - click to reveal

Like the last blog, I will be highlighting all the important points in bold. My comments will be in teal, also like the last blog.

What do you think is basic to a good skyscraper?

A good skyscraper always has an underlying form. This can range from something simple, like a box, or something more complex. This is the underlying idea that makes the entirety of a skyscraper feel like one thing, and not just a conglomeration of many different things.

Beyond that, no matter how simple a form is, there needs to be some type of detail. There needs to be something for people to look at. Without any detail, you end up getting what amounts to a very boring and amateurish looking skyscraper. I make detail in a few different ways, whether that be in the form of the tower itself, pillars behind the glass, or just some patterns on the facade. You don't have to do much to make the tower look so much better.

Awesome, I never really thought about giving my skyscrapers a form, I guess I just though of some design and built it up. I think that's also the biggest thing to take from this, don't make your skyscraper identical all the way up. If you notice, all of Ryer's skyscrapers have some change between the bottom floor and roof. This gives it some kind of overall design.

Where do you begin when building a skyscraper?

I always begin by building a frame. I get the shape of the tower exactly how I want it, all within a stage that I can still mess with it easily. Once I am completely satisfied with how it looks and feels, I create one floor, about halfway up the tower. I complete every single detail on this floor, all before I even touch any other part of the tower. If there is a part of the tower that looks completely different, I'll do a floor there as well.

It is only after I am comfortable with how one floor looks that I copy what I did over the rest of the tower. I then do the roof or crown, depending on the tower, then I do the base. Essentially I build the thing completely out of order, but that's just how I got used to it.

What common mistakes do you see in other people's skyscrapers?

People tend to ignore the form bit of a skyscraper, often just kind of building without much thought to what they are doing. A skyscraper then doesn't really look quite right, or it simply looks terrible. They often are very inconsistent with how they are laid out, and the proportions don't look quite right.

Unfortunately that's me right there. :( Hopefully though I can improve my building with this advice.

Another thing is the detail. Some people think they can get away with a glass shell with floor plates inside. Those builds look like exactly that, a glass shell with floor plates inside. They don't seem to have the same structural mass that skyscrapers should have, and they just look bad. Adding something as simple as perimeter columns to a tower can often times completely change how a building looks, and it almost always looks better.

Essentially, the point is don't be lazy when building a skyscraper, know what you are doing, and don't stop making it look better until it looks exactly how you want it to look.

What do you think is important to remember when designing/building a skyscraper?

Always have an idea of what you are doing, and always have a reason to do something one way. If you are thinking about adding something strange, think about what reason something like that would be there. If you have a valid reason, add it. If you don't, re-imagine it.

Also, Don't ever be satisfied. Don't let your mind tell you that it is done until it looks exactly how you want it to look. If you have a few options when doing something, do the hardest option, it always looks the best. Just don't be lazy really.

What are some small tips to improve a skyscraper?

Give your skyscraper a focal point, whether that be something in the form of the tower, a little splash of color, or even a company logo. These little details go a long way, just don't add too many of them or else your tower will look cluttered.

Also, I can't stress this enough, don't be lazy. Always add exactly what you want to add, and never settle for less. The small details that take forever to do, and may seem tedious, completely change how the tower looks, and almost never does it look worse. Create what you want, add what you want, remove what you want. Just do whatever you want until it looks good. Once you feel it looks good, make it look better, once you feel it looks great, make it look better, once you feel it is perfect and you cant make it look better... make it look better. Once you do that, you are done.

My personal comments on building skyscrapers.

Another important feature in some of Ryer's skyscrapers is a base. They don't start and continue with the same design all the way up, they have some alteration to the first floor or bottom floors. This is usually a different shape or materials, or a different style of building.

For example, if the tower is very glassy, the base might be very solid, to provide a contrast to the rest. However not all have a major alteration for the base, but those that don't tend to have very distinct designs for the whole tower.

So, that's the whole interview. I hope you enjoyed and have come out a better builder. Please leave a diamond if you enjoyed this blog, it really motivates me and makes me feel better. Also, feel free to comment any other tips you know, I'd love to find out what else there is to know about building skyscrapers.

By the way, this is part of a series I'm doing on modern building. Check out the rest here:
Spoiler - click to reveal
#1 - Building a city in general, plus basic building tips.
How to improve your city (ft. my ideas)

#2 - How to build good suburban/traditional houses. For this blog I interview Colfetters.
Suburban/Traditional Styled Houses (ft. Colfetters) How to Build #2

#3 - Making interiors


Once again, hope you enjoyed!
CreditRyer for letting me interview him

Comments : 3

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  • Nexus XIV
  • Level 24
  • Expert Crafter
  • April 30, 2018, 2:13 pm
Thanks for this!
  • Sami3t
  • Level 28
  • Expert Architect
  • February 13, 2018, 11:21 am
Yea! Ryer is the skyscraper god (in my opinion)!

Keep it up!!

  • Shimoto
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Ninja
  • February 12, 2018, 11:27 pm
At least for me this was the most interesting blog in the series so far.
Keep it up!

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