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JHoward88 May 6, 2010 10:14 PM

World Capitol Project
Hello everybody! I've come to this forum from time to time in the past and enjoyed the great conversations and architecture which is presented throughout the boards. I finally decided to sign up.

At the end of January I began working on my first large-scale sketchup hobby project, to which I dedicate this thread; the design for a capitol city of a fictional empire.

It has been my goal to reflect an imperial style of design throughout the model. The capitol campus, at the center of the map, has taken shape significantly. In the future I will begin expanding outwardly to create an urban landscape surrounding it.

Below is a rendering of the complex:

Here is a basic rundown of the theoretical functions which the currently present structures serve:

Phase I, The Judicial Ministry complex is seen at back (The complex includes 20 connected buildings behind a facade and windmill stacks)

Phase II, The Economic and Military Administrative complex (The complex featuring twin pentagon-shaped domed buildings)

Phase III, The Cultural Ministry, Archives, and U.S. Embassy Complex (still under construction as I write this) (Features Twin Towers at left, Central Domed Structure, and Twin Pyramids)

An underground train concourse allows convenient transportation connections between all of these buildings.

Update: original video removed. Most recent video rendering is located later in this thread.


I plan to spend the rest of the year working on this project. I will make periodic new updates as they occur.

treras93 May 6, 2010 11:24 PM

is this supposed to be nazi-ish/Greek architecture because it really looks like it especially with eagles on those domes.

Well, i really like it. That entrance gate looks sweet. cool vid too.:)

JHoward88 May 7, 2010 12:11 AM


Originally Posted by treras93 (Post 4828647)
is this supposed to be nazi-ish/Greek architecture because it really looks like it especially with eagles on those domes.

Well, i really like it. That entrance gate looks sweet. cool vid too.:)

I drew significant inspiration from the old model of proposed Germania, and the Nazi style of larger than life classical/neoclassical architecture, as was proposed for Germany during that era. (As a disclaimer, beyond the architecture, no further political intent should be perceived.)

One of my main goals from the beginning has been to employ a style which implies authority and scope without relying excessively on height to achieve that goal.

As an additional note, the text which appears on various buildings throughout the model is an alternate alphabet which I designed (based loosely on flag semaphore symbols) in an effort to give the project further distinction. Many of the inscriptions allude to the titles of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian deities.

Pingyao May 7, 2010 7:23 AM

Kinda unique stuff here! Yeah does remind me of some of Albert Speers work. It also makes me think of a new age cult - scientology if you will! I'll be interested to see what form the city takes. I reckon all those columns will slow it down though?

Vellu May 8, 2010 9:16 AM

Interesting concept! I think the architectural style you've created is unique-looking yet still very believable. Great modeling too! Only thing that is not to my liking are the windmills on the roof. But hey, if that's the way of this empire, then that's their business, not mine. :)

Innsertnamehere May 8, 2010 6:15 PM

i like it! but those towers hold an EXTREMLY large simalarity to the old WTC in new york.

JHoward88 May 10, 2010 11:53 AM

12,000 faces later... Update 1.59 (The project now registers 159,000 faces)

The twin towers are now fully connected to the still unfinished central domed complex, and I have begun working on Tricentennial Tower.

Tricentennial Tower is designed to be the headquarters of the Imperial Commercial Corporation. It is comprised of three connected towers, each having 100 floors. It stands 1,477 feet tall including top-level mechanical space and ornamentation, with the highest usable floor topping out at 1,102'. It is decorated atop by a massive pick and hammer, reminiscent of the style of the Soviet Union. The ICC is symbolized by the uppercase letter Phi, which appears on each of the tower's three sides.

The fiction of this Empire suggests that the economy is monopolized by a State-run corporation (Imagine an entity like the U.S. Federal Reserve acting on unlimited power over all commerce). Thus, the Corporate headquarters is to be separate from the government, but nevertheless inextricably linked to it and funded by it.

Presumably, beyond the core capitol complex of federal and military buildings, almost all architecture throughout the (yet unbuilt) city is commissioned either by the Cultural Ministry or the Commercial Corporation. The Tricentennial Tower serves as the centerpiece for all finance, public and private.

The individual floors of the new tower are visible, but the skin of the building has not yet been added.

Most free-market-based urban landscapes reflect a blend of functionality and randomness. Cities slowly evolve over time as the commercial and residential demands of their region evolve. When a new building does go in, it reflects (ideally) the vision of the company/entity which will reside in the building, or the architectural style of an individual designer.

In contrast, and as is the case in my project, we are imagining an urban landscape which is taking shape by order and design of a central government. As an imperial project, little thought concerning the cost (or even, in some cases, the practicality) of the project need be taken into consideration; for the primary purpose of the construction, unlike commercial construction projects, is to create monuments serving as an all-dominating civil reminder of the grandeur of the Empire.

While such a scenario provides cause for an absolutely enormous scope in the building of government projects, it also suggests that civil architecture, meaning anything that is part of (in this case) the rather limited private sector will likely be of a surprisingly low key, at least in comparison to what most of us would expect of a large city. Like villiagers dwelling in the shadow of a massive castle, the average people in this empire are, theoretically, rather poor, while the officially sanctioned imperial building projects are of unparallelled glory.

When I started this project, I resolved against designing anything without first understanding the structure's function. Additionally, I am trying to emulate a specific urban atmosphere which can only be appreciated if one also understands the nature of the economy and political structure of the environment for which they are designed (hense the fiction subtext which I am splicing in here as I go).

JHoward88 May 10, 2010 12:12 PM


Originally Posted by innsertnamehere (Post 4831192)
i like it! but those towers hold an EXTREMLY large simalarity to the old WTC in new york.

The roof of the towers are 1,375' tall. The tower fitted with an antenna tops out at 1,776'. They each have 110 floors and two sky lobbies, as did the towers in New York. As these towers are intended to serve as fictional housing for the U.S. Embassy and related international functions, the design is a deliberate tip of the hat to the late WTC. :)

Tolbert May 10, 2010 4:28 PM

Your city reminds me on my own capital i started some years ago but never finished. So i just combined different buildings from GE Warehouse to build up new ones...

Here just some pics to show you ;)

The city grid

one of the uge places at the entrance to the inner city

the imperial palace

hope you' ll do it better than me in finnishing your capital :)

Flamesrule May 10, 2010 7:32 PM

Really like of what you have done Jhoward. Really like the style of architecture you have done so far..

toyota74 May 10, 2010 8:50 PM


JHoward88 May 20, 2010 8:18 AM

Update 1.66 - The project has grown by 7,000 faces since my last post. The ICC/Tricentennial Tower and central complexes are now primarily complete. There are a number of finishing touches that I am planning for the central campus, but for now Phases I-III are completed enough for me to start active work on the design for phase IV.

Phase Four introduces the State Street Project (High-Density State-Commissioned Residential Housing), which is beginning to take shape in the latest rendered picture:

The State Street Project is the first group of buildings conforming to an urban grid system. The large red letters engraved on the sides of the new buildings spell the word "STATE". They serve as a reminder to visitors and citizens alike of the power of the State. Citizens of the Empire (more especially those in the capitol city) work for the State Corporation, live in State Housing, and everywhere are surrounded by symbols of the Empire's power in (and over) their lives.

Flamesrule May 20, 2010 9:00 PM

Looks really nice. Looks like you put a lot of time into this.Nice job!!

JHoward88 May 22, 2010 5:34 AM

Update 1.69 - ^First of all, thanks Flamesrule, and everybody else thusfar who has cruised into this thread and commented. :-)

A frontal view of the State Street Residential Project shows recently added Ascension Spire (Trivia: I got the open-topped pentacle design idea from an episode of The Dresden Files, where it appeared briefly.) Three taller towers will soon be going up behind the complex:

A pseudo-night time/negative view looking north from South State Street is shown below. A 200-foot cross and lightning bolt monument (intended to be the primary symbol of the FFF, or Fellowship of Federal Fraternities, which is the Empire's primary pseudo-religious State-sanctioned institution) stands directly in front of the Stock Exchange building. (Athena Tower)

The left and presently undeveloped side of State Street as shown below is going to be turned into medium-density commercial and residential city blocks. Most of the buildings there will be two to not more than ten stories tall, marking a distinct contrast from the trend of large scale buildings. Additionally, trees, grass, small monuments and lamp posts will be going in soon, in order to make the streets themselves more clearly defined.

Vellu May 22, 2010 1:47 PM

Looking really cool! The designs are consistent and the night shot looks great. Is it just inverted colors, or is it really a night time render with lights and all?

It would be nice to see some trees and people to get an idea of the scale of the buildings.

JHoward88 May 22, 2010 8:49 PM


Originally Posted by Vellu (Post 4849662)
Looking really cool! The designs are consistent and the night shot looks great. Is it just inverted colors, or is it really a night time render with lights and all?

It would be nice to see some trees and people to get an idea of the scale of the buildings.

^ The dark shot that I posted earlier was an just an inverted color version. I'll be adding trees and some grass after a while, but for the time being I have started by adding some cars to the boulevard itself to help give the project scale reference.

Work on the West side of State Street has begun, adding the new buildings pictured below, which include a medium-sized retail space, a 14-story hotel (which also occupies the smaller buildings immediately connected to its main tower), 8 stories of leased/contract office space, and a public garage with six parking levels.

JHoward88 May 24, 2010 8:22 AM

Update 1.76: this new 56-second video rendering offers a quick glimpse into the newly emerging State Street Neighborhood on the south side of the development, continuing through the Federal district, and ending with a brief flythrough of the underground concourse.

Update: original video removed. Most recent video rendering is located later in this thread.

Pingyao May 24, 2010 8:31 AM

The cars really help to give a sense of scale and just how big this whole model actually is. State St looks like it might have more 'ordinary' buildings lining the left side. I don't think I'd like to be a citizen in your city though, its kinda scary architecture!

JHoward88 May 31, 2010 10:39 AM

Update 1.89
Imperial Opera and Dominion Television Complex

Located on the west side of State Street, The lower levels of this building are occupied by a centre for the arts, while the 340 foot tall arch-shaped tower houses State television networks:

Seen from front:

Seen from above:

Seen from west:

Happy Memorial Day, Folks! :)

EDIT: My first propaganda poster: :)

Flamesrule May 31, 2010 3:00 PM

I really do not think this is scary architecture. It's not my favorite taste but you have done a great job for this project with design and the design.

Very nice job!!!!!!!!!1

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