• Minecraft Middle Earth is a Minecraft community that recreates the world described by JRR Tolkien and his writings. Everyone can participate in organized events in which we collaborate to create major landmarks, terrain, caves, castles, towns, farms and more.

    To get started, visit The New Player Guide
  • IP address : build.mcmiddleearth.com

Roofs or no roofs for Moria?

TotiGonzales

Head Builder
Staff member
Head Builder
Developer
Donor
Media Team
Hello, fellow Middle Earth enthusiasts!

As many of you might know, Daom and I have taken over this Traders Hall under the 21st that Pants started some time ago. Now lately, the discussion about roofs in moria started again and as this concerns our hall too (as seen in these screenshots of concepts by Pants):
13650
13651
we thought we should ask the public.

Maybe you can also tell that the styles of these roofs are rather particular/ inspired by other styles that come from outside of Moria. The next question would be: Do we think Dwarves would borrow these styles and merge them with theirs?

Let us know what you think about these two topics!
Toti & Daom
 

ryttyr

Artist
Artist
Logistically you wouldn't dig out more space than needed so in terms of building that'd mean that all structures in non-cave halls should reach from floor to ceiling and not stop halfway with a roof as it would just have been wasted work for the dwarves to dig out more space than they needed.
 

TotiGonzales

Head Builder
Staff member
Head Builder
Developer
Donor
Media Team
Logistically you wouldn't dig out more space than needed so in terms of building that'd mean that all structures in non-cave halls should reach from floor to ceiling and not stop halfway with a roof as it would just have been wasted work for the dwarves to dig out more space than they needed.
We do have housing from floor to ceiling too. Some of the buildings are just more special tho and have different types of decorations like roofs for example. That's the way i see this :D
 

ryttyr

Artist
Artist
We do have housing from floor to ceiling too. Some of the buildings are just more special tho and have different types of decorations like roofs for example. That's the way i see this :D
Hmm, well I guess it could be ok to have roofs on shorter buildings if the hall is dimensioned to house taller buildings that reach from floor to ceiling. But since everything in Moria is technically indoors anyways roofs would be purely decorative and could just as well have been built as terraces to give more space. In fact, building freestanding houses in halls at all seems like a big hassle. It would be much easier for the dwarves to just carve their homes from the solid rock instead of carve out a big hall and then build houses in it. I'm sorry for sounding so negative but I've always felt that our Moria style is highly illogical from a realistic standpoint and in some ways from a lore based standpoint as well (based on how I interpret the lore at least).
 

RubenPieterMark

Artist
Artist
Donor
Media Team
This is gonna be another long read (I write way too many long posts these days).

Let me start by saying that roofs in closed halls are realistically speaking completely unnecessary and unlogical. I think most of us agree on the realistic aspect, but @NicTheFifth didn't. His arguments were - iirc - firstly that there would be dripping water and that Dwarves would need to keep the heat inside. Roofs halfway in the interior would fix that. These arguments could go about in huge caves, but just not in a hall of this size (see album below). As Ryttyr pointed out, Moria is entirely an interior build. In huge natural caves however, like the 'Chamber' of Light, it would be very inefficient to warm up the entire cave, so houses make sense. Slanted roofs with roof tiles are unnecessary, because the rainfall would be limited to very little dripping water. Btw the builders of the houses could easily see where the water drips down based on the stalactites/stalagmites, so actually there would be 0 rainfall. So roof above your head is just for heat insulation and perhaps protection from falling debris, and keep in mind, this is only for houses in caves. - But this is just realistically speaking.


There is however another aspect that makes up the form of a building, that is aesthetics. I think this is the reason why Toti and Doam built them. They're supposed to represent outside world architecture; perhaps comparable to how rich 19th century people built medieval looking castles, even though they were completely pointless by that time. I get the idea, but I don't think it fits with Tolkien's idea of Dwarves. Especially these (see pic below) European looking buildings would probably be regarded as dollhouse pieces by the stubborn, proud Longbeards. Dwarves developed a beautiful architectural style of their own, and as they did with their language, they probably wouldn't have liked foreign influences. Here's an interesting quote about their language, which might also be about their architecture:
History of Middle-earth V.12 said:
As they said, the change in Khuzdul as compared with the tongue of the Elves, and still more with those of Men, was 'like the weathering of hard rock compared with the melting of snow.'

Instead, private buildings in large grid halls like the 21st hall, would probably look like Balin's Tomb, from floor to ceiling.
 

TotiGonzales

Head Builder
Staff member
Head Builder
Developer
Donor
Media Team
Alright! Time for a response :D.

First of all: I believe halls like this one were dug out so checking the water flows by looking at stalactites wouldn't be possible. If you ask me there would definitely be a use for slanted roofs. Not only would there be water sipping through the ground but there would probably be condensation on the ceilings of the halls which would eventually come down as water drops. Having a flat roof would mean that all this water would form puddles and eventually seep into the house. I'm happy you brought up debris because in my opinion there would be a bigger possibility for debris in a dug hall than in a cave that took shape over hundreds, maybe thousands of years. A slanted roof would also help with directing this debris to the ground where it could be cleaned up instead of accumulating on the roof.

Secondly: Daom and I haven't built any roofs in this hall yet. The current designs come from when Pants was designing the hall. I do agree that some of their aspects are too modern/unfitting but this conversation is not about the style of the houses. I would also like to remind that domes have bee used before in Moria in case anyone had a problem with that design choice. Plus, the small houses planned will be a temple/Chapple and potentially a bathhouse in the first section and the second design of roofed houses is supposed to serve more like a wall for an uncovered storage area. I don't think the size of these buildings would be as important as maybe the decoration there.

To bring my statement to a close I would also like to bring up some of the points Daom had while discussing this. As you said, Ruben, people have been decorating their builds to show prosperity. Imo Dwarves would be the race to do that. That also ties in with another argument. By making all houses floor to ceiling you wouldn't be able to see how grand the hall is. Civilizations have been known to go out of their way for decorating buildings why wouldn't the Dwarves do so? As far as inspiration from other architecture outside Moria goes we don't think Dwarves would be that repellent of other types of architecture. They have been known to get inspired by other types of architectures like on the west side where it was supposed to be more welcoming for visitors (elves) afaik.
 
Top