Minecraft Maps / Land Structure

Cornell University Low Rise 6 Dormitory

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_Shako's Avatar _Shako
Level 57 : Grandmaster Architect
Update: I am no longer at Cornell University. I had a great time there as a member of the Big Red community, but my college (AAP) and area of study (Urban/Regional Studies) was not a good fit for me, and I really wanted to study architecture history and historic architecture preservation, which Cornell doesn't offer for undergraduates. I am currently majoring in historic preservation at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, much closer to home (I live in Morgan County, WV) and really what I've wanted to study in college all along. And I'm really rolling with it - I've been fortunate enough to have already found work as an architecture historian, surveying and writing reports about historic buildings, while I'm still in my studies!

I'm super happy that this project is helping so many new students find their way around the dorm. If you want any other help or advice, just let me know! And don't get too caught up in the jokes and horror stories about students like me who drop out, have breakdowns, or worse - they call it "Cornhell" for a reason, but if you're passionate about the path you're taking, you can and will make it out just fine. (And if you're considering joining the Big Red Marching Band, do it! Boin Jand!)


It's notorious! It's infamous!

The Low Rises are five dormitory buildings at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, United States. Numbered 6-10 (because the first five on the master plan were never built), 6 and 7 are regular freshman housing while 8 is the Jerome H. Holland International Living Center, 9 is Just About Music (where I live, it's lots of fun), and 10 is Ujamaa Residential College, an African heritage-themed dorm (which is racially inclusive).

The Low Rises were built in 1975 and were an experiment in using a split-leveled design to house students in a more isolated, close-knit community. Today, everyone complains about how horribly confusing and cramped the buildings are, but the original goal has definitely been achieved. I can tell you from my own experience in Low Rise 9/Just About Music that we have become quite a community, where we see each other face-to-face and talk and hang out in the common areas all the time. The newer dorms, such as Court-Kay-Bauer and Mews, are often desired at first for their more typical straight-hallway design, but I overheard another student saying that they are "like a library where everyone is suicidal." I think that explains my point pretty well.

Many students also say that the Low Rises were designed to be complex and confusing so they would be riot-proof, which makes sense based on the era they were built, but this is not officially confirmed.

Each Low Rise has four units, which each contains a living room, kitchen, and six suites, which each contain six or seven students in two single rooms, a double room, and either a triple room or another double room (in this model, they are all triple rooms) along with a bathroom. Dorm rooms are labeled with a four-digit number, with the digits representing the building number, unit number, suite number, and 1-4 for the room number in the suite. So 6254 is the fourth room in Suite 5 in Unit 2 in Low Rise 6.

Architecturally, the Low Rises are all the same, except some are flipped or mirrored, or have the levels splitting in opposite directions. In other words, I could create the other Low Rises by copy/pasting this build and flipping it, changing the floor levels, or both. The unit common areas are 1-1/2 floors tall, and the suites branch from the common areas as wings in two directions; in one direction, two suites are at the same floor level, and in the other direction the floor level splits and there are two suites above and two suites below. Two units are stacked on top of each other, with the suite wings oppositely placed so that the two units' suites tessellate.

In between the two stacks of two units are two main staircases, a main lounge and guest suite on the top floor, the lobby and offices on the middle floor, and laundry, utilities and public restrooms in the basement.

This model has been in progress for months, going very slowly because Cornell is hard and I have not had time for Minecraft. It is as accurate as I could possibly make it using Minecraft's limitations (and I do not like to use mods or resource packs because that limits the build's useability). There will also be some minor errors. But all in all, this is a highly accurate build.

To make sure I got many details correct, I spent a bit of time exploring and taking photos of Low Rise 6. A big thanks to my friends who let me inside, since I live in a different Low Rise and don't have access to 6's lock.

From the Cornell facilities website:
Low Rise 6
237 Jessup Road, Ithaca, New York, U.S.
Built 1975
Total 40,492 square feet (3762 square meters)

This project was not created or commissioned by Cornell University. This is entirely my own project.
CreditHelmuth Obata Kassabaum Architects (original design, 1975)
Progress100% complete

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06/22/2019 1:33 am
Level 1 : New Miner
safaber's Avatar
Thank you so much for making this! My friends and I are having a lot of fun exploring where we'll live in the fall!
06/27/2019 9:22 pm
Level 57 : Grandmaster Architect
_Shako's Avatar
You're welcome! I'm considering making a more serious diagram/map that could be printed and posted/shared around for residents who don't have Minecraft.

Have fun at Cornell! I only went there for one year but I'd be glad to help you in any other way I can. Let's Go Red!
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