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Lond Daer Style

barteldvn

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The Basics
Alright over the last couple of months Ivan has been working hard on laying out the basic planning for the streets for Lond Daer. So the terrain is done, the planning is being worked on and the textures are also done (toti's new mossy textures)

Which makes us come to the point where we need to decide about its final style. But first some basic background lore

Under the name Vinyalondë, or 'New Haven', Lond Daer was founded by Númenor's crown prince and future "Ship-king" Tar-Aldarion on the estuary of the river Gwathló in the early Second Age. It was the first permanent settlement of the Númenóreans in Middle-earth. From here Aldarion's "Guild of Venturers" began harvesting the local timber for the shipbuilding industry of Númenor.
Source: Lond Daer

So Lond Daer was an important trade haven for the Numenoreans during the beginning of the Second Age. It was the main haven for quite a long time and around it it established a large settlement. For the large shipbuilding industry they needed a lot of timber which they got from surrounding areas, but by doing so angered the native Dunlending population . So we can assume it was quite well fortified as these natives attacked the city on multiple occasions.


So about the style...
We haven't done any purely Numenorean settlements for a while, which makes me want to rethink our style. A lot of people would most likely compare Numenorean with Egyptian, Roman or Byzantine architecture, meanwhile our original design for Lond Daer was quite Gothic.

Which leaves the question what we should go for. I'd love some input from you guys on this, most importantly from a design perspective, but also from realism and lore.


My current idea is currently leaning towards a Byzantine style.
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(Some concepts made by Lindo, however I'd most likely go for a more grey with white or even grey on grey colour.)


Meanwhile Ivan is currently thinking something like a mix between the Gothic and some Byzantine.
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So if you got anything you expect, you want or you don't want for the style, now is your time!
 

DingusWingus366

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I feel that the Byzantine style would work better for our interpretation. It wouldn’t stand out too much form Gondorian builds and the Byzantine feels much older than the gothic/Byzantine, as is appropriate for the build.
 

NicTheFifth

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I think that is a good idea, however isn't it the case that Lond Daer has been abandonned for about 3000 years? (my estimate, might be off by a few hundred) Thus wouldn't this mean that basically nothing but the bases would remain?
 

barteldvn

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I think that is a good idea, however isn't it the case that Lond Daer has been abandonned for about 3000 years? (my estimate, might be off by a few hundred) Thus wouldn't this mean that basically nothing but the bases would remain?
Of course, but major building complexes like the palace, the keep and some other big buildings will still have some parts left, as they're the most sturdy.
 

Lindolas

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About Egyptian, I did hear an audio (or reading about it) Tolkien talking about this, but what he said was that Numenor resembled Egyptian culture in terms of monumental building and not the culture or architectural styles itself. The Argonath is a nice example of that. Must be care full here how to interpreted the data. And considering the fact that gondorians are descendent of numenoreans the style should be very similar we already have in gondor, maybe better, more royal, bigger....
 
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ryttyr

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I like the look of the Byzantine buildings you've shown but as Lindo already said, the Gondorean architectural style is supposed to be an architectural evolution of the Numenorean style so we must keep that in mind so it doesn't stray too far from our current Gondorean style.
I also think we should add in at least a hint of Greek architecture into the Numenorean style as a nod to how Tolkien took a lot of inspiration from the Greek myth of Atlantis when he created Numenor.
Hmmm... as Numenoreans are supposed to have been pretty much the most skilled builders in the history of Middle-Earth aside from the Dwarves and since they were heavily inspired by a greek myth how about we go with the architectural style of one of the most architecturally advanced civilisations of the ancient world who also took a lot of their inspiration from Greek architecture, the Romans? A Roman architectural style wouldn't be too dissimilar from your idea of Byzantine architecture as that is an eastern evolution of Roman architecture and would also kinda automatically fit with our current Gondorean style as that is based on Mediterranean architecture which is an western evolution of Roman architecture.
 

Lindolas

Artist
Artist
The numenoreans were more advanced then the gondorians. After the "Fall of Numenor" numenoreans started to mix with the regular people in middlearth and slowely started to loose their longevity and knowledge. So basicly the more you go back in time, the more advanced architecture you would see.

And something to read which I found some time ago:
Tolkien and Italy, through Switzerland and the FanContest

Scroll down to "3. Was Tolkien the first one to compare Italy and Middle-Earth?"
 

Ivan1pl

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So I guess it would be nice to see how my idea of the style looks in MC, so here are some screenshots:

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So it has byzantine/greek elements with domes and columns, but colours are mostly grey, roofs are steeper and there are some spiky towers.
 

ryttyr

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So I guess it would be nice to see how my idea of the style looks in MC, so here are some screenshots:


So it has byzantine/greek elements with domes and columns, but colours are mostly grey, roofs are steeper and there are some spiky towers.
The colour would have more to do with the materials available rather than architectural style so if there's a lot of grey stone around I can see why it would be grey rather than the sandstone used in a lot of Gondor.
 

creeperpig0

Experienced Member
I personally would really like to see a sandstone ruin, as all of the current ruins that we have are stone bricks (And the elven quartz ruins), though I feel as though the stone brick-sandstone mixing looks quite odd. I would rather a pure sandstone mix (or maybe even sandstone-terracotta mix, though I'm pretty sure that the coloring would get worn off through the ages), more like Dol Amroth (remember, DA was colonized by Numenorians after the elves left it/were pushed out). This could make the build quite unique, instead of just being "another ruined city" like half of the other sizable cities on the server, and give a reason for people to visit it.
 

Eriol_Eandur

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Problem is that sandstone gets darker and darker over time. So at a 3000+ year old ruin the sandsone would probably look dark grey-greenish. Especially in the humid climate of Eriador.
Here are two pictures of sandstone buildings, both made from the same type of sandstone. One of them was restaurated less than 50 years ago, the other one is in parts 1700 years old:
It is known that darkening of sandstone is sped up by air pollution in modern cities, but still ... Lond Daer is in ruins for almost 3000 years

EDIT:
Just remembered another example:
At the bottom of the picture tourists are walking on the sandstone all the time. So the upper layer is ginded. At the background you see the result of sandstone darkening on long-term.
 
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creeperpig0

Experienced Member
Problem is that sandstone gets darker and darker over time. So at a 3000+ year old ruin the sandsone would probably look dark grey-greenish. Especially in the humid climate of Eriador.
Here are two pictures of sandstone buildings, both made from the same type of sandstone. One of them was restaurated less than 50 years ago, the other one is in parts 1700 years old:
It is known that darkening of sandstone is sped up by air pollution in modern cities, but still ... Lond Daer is in ruins for almost 3000 years

EDIT:
Just remembered another example:
At the bottom of the picture tourists are walking on the sandstone all the time. So the upper layer is ginded. At the background you see the result of sandstone darkening on long-term.
Now, this might take you a minute or two of searching, but in the MCME Times for a few weeks ago, there was an adventurer who made a darkened type of sandstone concept for Lond Daer and got an honorable mention for it, and it looked similar to that Roman City Gate of Trier that you showed. I wasn't very sure about the idea at that point, but now that you point out the darkening of sandstone, it sounds like a pretty good idea. It used the brown brick at the bases of the Dol Amroth buildings on the cliff, such as the palace. Perhaps this could work?
 

TotiGonzales

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The current sandstone texture is definitely up for an update like the stone bricks texture I updated a while ago. I do think that the two won't mix well, however. Introducing a dark sandstone texture might be the solution there.
As for a style choice: With a limited lore background knowledge I can only point out the fact that the Númenóreans didn't really build Umbar (as the harbor was built by the natives of that region before the Númenóreans came and any buildings that they may have built would have been inspired by the local architecture) often architecturally portrayed in a byzantine-gothic style but they built Pelargir which has often been associated with roman architecture (also current style of the MCMEs Pelargir build). Lond Daer, on the other hand, was the first Numenorean settlement founded some 1500 years before Pelargir and only 700-750 years after the foundation of the kingdom of Númenór (according to ... TolkienGateway). Why am I bringing this up? Well, according to Wikipedia: "there was initially no hard line between the Byzantine and Roman empires, and early Byzantine architecture is stylistically and structurally indistinguishable from earlier Roman architecture." That being said if we keep drawing parallels to the way these styles emerged in the real world we see the Byzantine-Gothic combination started during the Renaissance which would start right around the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire (~1400 A.D.).

In conclusion: I think an early roman/byzantine style would probably fit the timeline the best and would match our real-world observations and inspiration. Barts inspiration pictures are a good assortment of roman and byzantine buildings and I could definitely imagine that being the core style for Lond Daer. However, I can also see some Gothic touches making their way into some of the newer/bigger buildings (assuming those were up-kept and renovated until the city was abandoned) as Lond Daer was inhabited until the downfall of Númenór at the end of the Second Age. That is however as far as my lore knowledge goes and I can imagine I've missed some details that would give us further insight into Lond Daers architecture so please let me know what you think.
 
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TotiGonzales

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The Roman Empire collapsed ~800 AD, do you mean the collapse of the Byzantines to the Ottoman Turks?
Yes I mean the Eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantines). According to Wikipedia, the Western Roman Empire collapsed 480 AD so I'm not sure what you are referring to when talking about 800 AD.
 

creeperpig0

Experienced Member
The Roman Empire collapsed ~800 AD, do you mean the collapse of the Byzantines to the Ottoman Turks?
Yeah, neither side of the Empire fell in the 9th century. The Western Half (containing Rome) fell 476 CE, marking the beginning of the Middle Ages. The Eastern Half (The Byzantine Empire) finally fell in 1453, ending the Middle Ages after well over a millennium of separation between the two (they split before Rome fell).
 

creeperpig0

Experienced Member
The current sandstone texture is definitely up for an update like the stone bricks texture I updated a while ago. I do think that the two won't mix well, however. Introducing a dark sandstone texture might be the solution there.
As for a style choice: With a limited lore background knowledge I can only point out the fact that the Númenóreans didn't really build Umbar (as the harbor was built by the natives of that region before the Númenóreans came and any buildings that they may have built would have been inspired by the local architecture) often architecturally portrayed in a byzantine-gothic style but they built Pelargir which has often been associated with roman architecture (also current style of the MCMEs Pelargir build). Lond Daer, on the other hand, was the first Numenorean settlement founded some 1500 years before Pelargir and only 700-750 years after the foundation of the kingdom of Númenór (according to ... TolkienGateway). Why am I bringing this up? Well, according to Wikipedia: "there was initially no hard line between the Byzantine and Roman empires, and early Byzantine architecture is stylistically and structurally indistinguishable from earlier Roman architecture." That being said if we keep drawing parallels to the way these styles emerged in the real world we see the Byzantine-Gothic combination started during the Renaissance which would start right around the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire (~1400 A.D.).

In conclusion: I think an early roman/byzantine style would probably fit the timeline the best and would match our real-world observations and inspiration. Barts inspiration pictures are a good assortment of roman and byzantine buildings and I could definitely imagine that being the core style for Lond Daer. However, I can also see some Gothic touches making their way into some of the newer/bigger buildings (assuming those were up-kept and renovated until the city was abandoned) as Lond Daer was inhabited until the downfall of Númenór at the end of the Second Age. That is however as far as my lore knowledge goes and I can imagine I've missed some details that would give us further insight into Lond Daers architecture so please let me know what you think.
As I was saying, don't we already have a dark sandstone texture at the base of the DA buildings on the cliffside?
 

barteldvn

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Alright I did some rough concepts based on some of the images I've sent above.
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To be clear these are some of the strongest buildings of the whole city so these will be somewhat intact in some areas, though still very much ruined in most.

About your comment @creeperpig0 Yes we have brown bricks, though they don't really look much like (old) sandstone and we'd have to make a fair amount of extra textures, like pillars and some matching blocks to mix walls, to be able to work with them. Besides I don't think we're obligated to make sandstone the main building material.
 

TotiGonzales

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The sandstone block states are free in the URPS iteration of the Eriador RP hopefully being introduced with the 1.13 update so we could have a new texture for old sandstone. Most of the big cities in Eriador are ruins anyway so another texture that would mix well with the stone bricks texture would probably be good. On the topic of mixing textures, I think the white bricks can't be used for walls in any of these buildings. Not only because they are way too perfect but also because according to some source I stumbled upon during my quick research yesterday the only white rock they used was marble and that was only used for columns and statues. Especially the Byzantines tried to drive down the costs of building by increasing the thickness of the mortar layers between the bricks which resulted in warping and even collapse in some of their structures but at the same time established an important characteristic of byzantine architecture, the asymmetry/imperfection of their structures. The cost-efficiency they were striving for also means that they wouldn't have used marble, a much more expensive material, in their walls. One could argue that they might have been able to afford that in Lond Daer but I'd say white walls just aren't part of early roman/byzantine structures. Plus I can't imagine how you would ruin a white wall like that as marble gets a yellow tint over time.

I really like the ruined concept. But I find it unfortunate that we are forced to use the stone texture to add some variation. I know it's been used in the past to simulate plaster which normally works in my opinion. However, according to the same source plaster facades were rather uncommon as the focus lay on making the interiors as fancy as possible. Maybe coming up with another texture for variation within large surfaces would help with making these walls look interesting while keeping consistent in where we use certain textures and what they are supposed to portray. If you have an idea send me suggestions and inspiration pictures!
 
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