Hologram Housing

Noraa Builds’ projected city is loading now

A few years ago, there used to be this phone company called Orange, and their slogan was: “The future is bright. The future...is Orange.” I get what they were trying to say, but really, look at any science-fiction movie and you’ll see that the future, actually, is blue. Maybe purple. But never, NEVER orange. It’s such an ugly colour, and hopefully it will be outlawed by the time we hit 2100. Anyway, the company no longer exists, probably because their slogan was so factually incorrect.

But today’s builder, Noraa Builds, has it right. The future is blue, and not only is it blue, it’s also entirely virtual. Very cool.

“‘Projection’ is my take on a sci-fi city,” says Noraa. “At the bottom part of my build there are 8 small generators pointing to the middle, where a big generator is shooting a beam of blue light. This beam is creating the the city.” Noraa doesn’t mention exactly how anyone gets in or out of the city, but maybe in the future we all have flying cars and teleporters.

Then again, perhaps getting in and out of the city is the least of our worries - some buildings don’t even exist yet! “I built the project in a stage of the process, as if the city was still being built,” says Noraa. “Half of the buildings are blue and look as if they are still loading in, like in a video game, the rest are regular buildings made in interesting shapes.” Imagine coming home to find that your bed is only 50% loaded and your kitchen is still buffering. Nightmarish stuff.

The main inspiration for Projection was other sci-fi cities from movies. “The most notable movie is Ghost in The Shell,” Noraa says, citing the anime as the look they were going for. “I loved how the movie’s sci-fi city looked, so I tried to recreate it with my own twist on it.” As for how the city itself was built, the process was actually the opposite of futuristic, as Noraa used old-fashioned means prior to getting started in Minecraft itself. “Before making the build, I sketched out how I wanted the build to look on paper,” Noraa says. “After that, I made the side generators with the same type style as the main generator. All that was left was the city, which I completed quickly, and then I added all the light beams.”

Don’t think that Noraa had an easy time building this sci-fi metropolis just because it sounds easy, though. The build itself only took about ten hours over the course of two weeks, but there were tricky parts - in particular, the generators at the bottom of the scene. “Trying to make them look like they are powering the city and look aesthetically pleasing was a challenge,” Noraa admits. “I went through several different ones until I finally settled on the one that I have now.”

One detail that comes through in all of the renders that show Projection in all its glowy majesty is the colour scheme: mostly made of blues and greys, with just a hint of yellow on the generators, because yellow is the colour of machines in the future, obviously. One of the challenges with building in Minecraft is making the limited colour palette work for what you’re building - which usually results in builders making structural decisions that would make an architect cry. Wool for walls? Cactus for roofs? A door made out of melons? At least no one has to live in these buildings.

Projection is largely built out of what Noraa calls “neutral coloured blocks”: stone bricks, stone, cobblestone, andesite, coal ore, gray wool and concrete. The light blue colours are glass, giving the whole piece a “futuristic holographic feel.” Nothing more futuristic than skyscrapers made of sheep fluff and rocks!

Living in a hologram city could be fun! Then again, how would you use the bathroom? I'll pass on trying out the hologram toilet, thanks.

So blue! So moody. How about an optimistic vision of the future for once? It might be sunny tomorrow!

An early design sketch for some of the buildings in the projected city!

Although this is Noraa’s first full sci-fi build, they have a few more impressive builds (check out Zikhulu, which is their personal favourite). There’s clearly a lot of research, knowledge and skill that goes into every one of their creations, and Projection is no different. “I’ve learned that building is more of an art form than a game,” says Noraa, “and that it takes heavy passion to continue and stay motivated creating unique concepts that no one has ever thought of before in the limited blocks you get.”

The Minecraft building community is full of people that are constantly trying to better themselves, and inspire others. Noraa takes a moment to give their own advice to the next generation of builders: “Just keep building, try to develop your own style, push your expectations, and do things outside of your comfort zone, and you will do great.”

Omardegante, Fixy, D34D, Kryiin and Squity

Kate Gray


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