Modern Art

AndyisYoda shares his modern design secrets!

We can't get enough of your historical Minecraft builds. We've seen so many ancient castles, statues and monuments in fabulously blocky form that we're starting to forget what the actual monuments looked like. Were the pyramids built from Ender Stone? Probably!

Builds based on more modern architecture, though, are a little less common. That's not necessarily a bad thing - it just makes sleek designs like Xalima by AndyisYoda stand out even more.

"It's quite aspirational, isn't it?" Andy says, when we ask what appeals to him about recreating a luxury house with a more modern design. "People like to build something they might want to live in one day, but this is like a 30 million pound house!"

"I'd like to build a house one day, a real one. Minecraft is like practice for that. Whether I'll ever achieve that dream or not, I'm not sure."

Andy's build is based on this original design, one he recreated, block by block, even getting feedback and input from the original designer. "I contacted the architect of this concept house, a guy called Martin Ferrero and it's his conceptual design. It just looks floaty and light and amazing so I thought I'd try and build it in Minecraft blocks."

"It's very open plan living. You're on your own private island so you can have plenty of glass and windows - No one's going to be spying on you!" But you're welcome to spy on more of Martin Ferrero's stellar work here.

“I'd like to build a house one day, a real one. Minecraft is like practice for that.”

Naturally, recreating such an ambitious design wasn't an easy process. Were there any stumbling blocks Andy would warn other builders to avoid? "I think the hardest part is to keep the walls looking thin and light. But one of the things people do wrong mostly when they build these glass boxes, is that they expect the glass to be able to hold up the ceiling..." Oh dear. We don't like where this is going...

"It's a real problem!" stresses Andy. "People like to have glass walls but they still need to realise they need to put in steel beams or something to support the roof. I've seen people use mirrored columns before. I had a mixture - Some glass panes and some fence posts which are retextured to be grey. To make it look as if it could stand up and actually support the weight, and look just like the pictures as well."

This image shows Martin Ferraro's original design, which Andy so faithfully rebuilt in the game.

And for comparison: the final build in Minecraft, which captures the elegant architecture in blocks.

Keeping such understated design from risking looking bland was also priorotised. "What's important in modern architecture is to have some quite muted pale colours, but have lots of accents or have an accent colour to liven it up." Such as the greenery of the bushes enclosing the house. "Especially in the interior, having these highlighted to increase the interest. Accent colours, they're called. there's a few of them dotted about in some of the rooms inside."

So apart from not having the roof fall in, was their a particular part of the project Andy was most proud of? "The swimming pool. It was an infinity pool on Martin's plans, which is kind of like a glass wall. But when you put [Minecraft] glass there it didn't look like the swimming pool. So I had to use Barrier blocks and that was the secret."

"These barrier blocks are just see-through blocks which you can place. You can fill [them] with water, right up to those blocks and it just looks like a glass-walled swimming pool, with the interface between the water and the barrier block looking like the glass." A clever visual trick, mimicking an infinity pool by making the solid blocks holding it together essentially invisible. Be careful when diving in!

"I think it's my best work I've ever done," says Andy. Why not judge for yourself by taking a look at more of his work here? Just try not to get green with envy about how much nicer that house looks than the one you live in. Good luck!