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About Francis90b

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  1. JP Schriefer's BATs

    Really nice design! To me, they look more as a modern interpretation of prewar twin towered specimens, more similar in "feel" to The Kent (200 east 95th, being built right now) than to the Century. Personally, i feel this makes them even more valuable - in reality there's some kind of enduring fascination for historical styles, and that generates buildings which, for the better or the worst, are part of nowadays urban landscape...having more examples of that on the ST can only be a good thing.
  2. JP Schriefer's BATs

    I'm looking forward to see how the skylight well will lit up at night :). Jasoncw is right, there's a common standard by which BATs which are supposed to meet the sidewalk straight away are set back one sidewalk tile (1.6 mtrs) from whichever side of the LOT where a sidewalk is expected to exist.Oh, and there's also a standard dictating for 3.2 mtrs setback, but that's much less frequently used, afaik. There's a silver lining on that, though, because several corner buildings in Manhattan have one, or both sides being 100' wide, 100' is equivalent to 30.48 mtrs, and then the usable lenght of 2 sc4 tiles next to a corner, assuming you're using the 1.6 mtrs sidewalk standard, is (32-1.6) 30,4 mtrs. I didn't know the original base was smaller than the "new" base the tower ended up with...had to dust off a pic in my archive to notice it . Both the towerless version and the original base would bring something interesting to the game. The towerless version might probably be quicker and easier to make, as you'll "just" have to remove the tower and fill the resulting gap with a roof.The "old" base will also require you to surgically remove the three floors which were added in the middle of the "new" base, and to check wheter the "narrower" side of the "old" base can actually fit within the constraints imposed by SC4 grid without leaving too much of a gap. And you're way too kind as far as my random musings about buildings are concerned .
  3. How do you 'feel' time?

    I really like the example of a melody's notes - time as a neutral void, within which episodes of awareness occur, irrelevant and essential at once.These episodes, as they happen, become detached from the very matrix which allowed them to exist at all, and still they're the only way we might be aware of it.And their perception is entirely subjective, based on the relevance one attributes to them. Under this light, quantity-based time standards can be regarded as they are - a clearing house between individual perceptions, nothing more than an universally accepted fiction. And the set of questions the OP chose further reinforces the essence of perceived time as being an interplay of fictions experienced at individual and collective levels, strictly linking it to the ethical dilemma of how to balance individual and societal expectations...quite a vast topic to deal about in it's own.
  4. 667 Madison Avenue

    A fine building IRL, and an excellent BAT. I like that you took time for a final round of polishing, making this probably the best rendition one can get. And i'm sure the possibility to pick and add one's own choice of patio furniture will be appreciated by many users !
  5. Reddonquixote's BAT thread

    I might be late to the party, but hope there's still room in the pool?...the way you rendered it really makes me want to swim there (and the rest of the model is just as good :P).
  6. JP Schriefer's BATs

    I really appreciate all that you've been doing lately (including the BATs you did not show there)!. 667 Madison is a fairly interesting building - several elements setting it apart from both prewar towers and postwar ones, and each of them striving to incorporate the best from both types. There's a staggered mass - a nod to older wedding cake buildings, a clever device to offer as many (valuable) corner offices into what's essentially a botique office building.Perhaps rendered in an overdramatic fashion, as it commonly occurs with several features in postmodern buildings, but powefully emphasizing the corner the building sits on in a way that maybe a more sedate or "classic" massing would never have been able to. And there's a stone veneer exterior, a refreshing take from steel and glass curtains, almost mandatory in the 60's - early 70's, as well as from early 80's fads for reflective glass prisms and horizontal stacks of granite or marble or whichever stone like material and ribbon window, multiplied for whichever number of floors that were needed, the resulting box sometimes cut with one or two diagonal at strategic locations. There's nothing of that, but clearly definite, evenly spaced window holes punctuating the facade in a regular pattern, as in prewar buildings - still, said windows are asymmetrically subdivided, a simple but clever way to escape the monotony that could easily originate from this arrangement. The ground floor arcade is a noteworthy touch too - still offering public space the way several modern buildings attempt to, but in a far more inspired and useful way than the usual, empty and semi-private plazas you see around many modern nyc skyscrapers, plazas which are usually thrown in merely to snatch more allowable FAR. It's only downside, it's construction required the demolition of an old apartment building, not really noteworthy per se, but interesting as one of the oldest ones built in that area, still rendered with detailing choices not really common on slightly more modern apartment buildings around (for example the variety of lintel designs used there is very uncommon, more similar to what you might find in my european hometown than in several posh park avenue buildings). Aestethically it's not my favourite, but there are several reasons why this specific skyscraper might be a step above much of what had been built before it, or has been built since. So i'm quite pleased to see it being modelled. As far as your rendition goes, i'd subscribe with both Gutterclub and Fantozzi's positions...while the blind color might actually lean towards yellow/beinge, chances are that the glass type used on this building and the reflections it filters might add a slightly blue-ish tinge to them. My advice would be to take a look at a bing maps 3d view of this buildings, and see what's there - to check if you can actually see any blind there, and then to check which color it has - bing 3d has a roughly (very roughly, mind you!) similar perspective to SC4, so maybe looking at that might help. I have the impression you might have made masonry cladding slightly darker than it needs to be / than it needs to represent RL situation.Maybe that's just me, though. On a completely unrelated note, would you mind, when releasing the Singer building, to consider the idea of making a towerless version? The tower, while striking, was just an addition to an already existing building, and the base might still be quite useful in game as a stately midrise for the 1890 tileset.
  7. Watkins & Sons

    An incredibly versatile design (i take this to be a fictional building), executed to amazing standards modelling-wise.But i think it's biggest merit lies behind what can be immediately seen, and precisely in the way it tackles on the issue of designing a generic building. Some building types and building styles are widespread, and instantly recognizable as originating from a common matrix.But slight variations in regional architecture can play a role (and perhaps did more so in the past) at rendering them unique, while being substantially identical. I've seen that happening in Europe, and i've seen that happening in America, to an extent. The challenge is - how to incorporate "regional" touches while avoid to pigeonhole a design into a fairly restrictive context? And/or, how to design a generic building while retaining enough hints of a "local" interpretation of it's paradigm, hints that would contribute substantially at enabling such design to be perceived as graceful, interesting and authentic? The design offered there strikes a perfect balance, offering several different suggestions, while miraculously managing to remain true to them all. A relatively insular massing reminds me about mid sized midwestern cities.Or perhaps about several (now) large cities within sunbelt and pacific rim, where buildings like the one hereby depicted often represented their very first foray into acquiring a "big city" character.And yet something in it's architectural detailing reminds me of eastern seaboard cities, NYC perhaps, but several other places as well. From shore to shore, from lakes to gulf it would find a way to belong anywhere, and enables any user to make It make it whatever he/she wants it to be. When designing a generic building, that achievement ought to be considered absolute perfection.
  8. JP Schriefer's BATs

    I think the building had always been meant as an one-liner - good when viewed from a given vantage point, not-so-much from anywhere else. Furthermore, it experienced several small alterations over the years, with these having perhaps taken their toll over an already thin design base. Here are a couple of pics of the building shortly after completion: mcny pics There are certain features, then lost over time, which perhaps helped to give the building a more consistent appearence than nowadays; I'm especially thinking about the way in which broad horizontal windows were framed in narrow and tall panels, attempting to counterbalance a fenestration pattern that feels overwhelmingly horizontal almost everywhere within the building's envelope, and the dramatic broken gable which sat over that arch just below water tower, which gave a slightly stronger contribution in highlighting the building's upward conclusion. With that i am in no way downrating the very careful replication of current situation, which you masterfully achieved and which must have taken a lot of effort - furthermore some of it helps to give variety within the model. The point i am trying to make is that maybe experimenting with selective implementation of some of the building's past features might produce an even better result, and help you overcome part of the discomfort you seem to feel with the building's appearance. I would also subscribe with the suggestions concerning glass - i can't help but think it feels way too busy, and slightly too reflective as of now. As for brick hue, my position isn't that simple - While i agree with the idea that a slightly warmer hue might help somewhat, i'm also aware that the real building's hue is anything but warm.This might be one of those situations where a relatively cool hue must be subtly steered towards pink / peach in order to appear in game as it should. I'm also inclined to think that the brownish masonry should be made slightly darker, at least judging from street view. Furthermore, i perceive the copper roof of the existing building as having an even more pronounced blue-ish hue than what appears in your model - but that's something else that might require a lot of tweaking to get right? Finally, i think that experimenting with potted plants and balcony tilework might be a good idea, but that too much of it would bring you to a worse situation than where you are in now - perhaps you might want to take another look at it when you have tweaked all the materials and modelled the base.In other words, before adding an icing on a cake you must make sure that cake is as good as it can get .
  9. EastSider Bar

    A must for a midwestern city, this little gem seems to embody the understated balance which is found on some of their old buildings, and is surely able to express it to the benefit of surrounding environment - utilitarian and simple yet subtly graceful, can easily complement, and fit into, many contexts, lending it's humble contribution to their enrichment.
  10. Maxis References

    That's precisely what it is, and I attempted modelling it , long ago and before having any clue about what i was doing :P. I feel a bit thorn about where to stand concerning Maxis's version of it - for there are objective circumstances within the original building which would make it's rendition in any other form less straightforward than what it normally would be. First of all, the original building was, built as a stock exchange - as such it possesses sprawling and tall trading floors at lower levels, making for an imposing appearence but severely limiting such design's useability as anything else, and these same floors extend all the way on the back, more than doubling the building's footprint into a georgian revival lowrise, to which the art decò midrise we see is actually a later addition. Secondly, the building doesn't lend itself well to sc4 grid - it's art decò facade is roughly 38 mtrs wide, i.e. between 2 and 3 tiles wide without being any close to either lenght.Moreover the back of building has another non-standard lenght, in the range of 54-55 mtrs, and is non parallel to the front facade. Designers must have picked it because of beautiful, majestic facade - the same reason as why i did, and selected to make it a CO$$, mayhaps as they needed some more of them. They did away with the back lowrise, a sensible move given their goals, and they did away with trading floors, replacing them with a two floor lobby i find quite awkward and not very integrated with the rest of the building. Furthermore, in the attempt to bring front facade within the two tiles limit, they cut it's composition by removing one of the middle bays; but that means the central section of the model's facade has an even number of bays/elements, something that wasn't really common in traditional styles, and was also avoided even in several early art decò designs. Finally, there's the roughly gray/pale blue cladding material - i still have to see anything remotely resemling it in real life stone claddings, however it does it's job within sc4's universe...i would even say i feel it refreshing compared to much of the rest of SC4's colour palette :P. So i think it's not a bad attempt, not because there's anything good to write about it, but because the material they had to work with was relatively difficult. I'm wondering what it could have been if they decided to make it as a stock exchange out of it, maybe in place of the wall street imitation they actually delivered... At any rate, it's still one of my favourite buildings in Maxiscape :P.
  11. JP Schriefer's BATs

    I knew what the building was, but refrained from posting :P. Sometimes you might notice a portion of a building being added onto another, with seemingly no relation whatsoever between them - and sometimes such additions happen in a short timespan - but seldom you'd see a tower, probably equalling or surpassing the former building's area, being added at the back of an already large and tall building merely twenty years later, wouldnt you? More than one poster noticed an affinity with contemporary nyc towers - and indeed, Lewis tower's "tower" seems to recall them. Curiously, early 20th century Philly and NYC, faced with high rise construction, reacted in different ways to the issue of combined bulk and height: NYC adopted strict rules which allowed one to build as tall as one wanted but with reduced bulk, Philly seems to have tolerated somewhat bulkier buildings, but with formal and informal caps on overall height. So the thin and slender tower, born out of necessity in a given environment, finds itself into another one possessing different conditions, perhaps due to aestethic trends (and indeed, how many towers vaguely recalling nyc were built in those years, scattered all across america's mid and small towns?) - yet in this case i find it hard to find any fault in that, as Lewis tower's architects seem to have done a darn good job with it.
  12. NYBT 605 Park Avenue