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Minecraft's Brutalist Build Yields Beauty

Created by Wuxa, image via BlockWorks

The Minecraft Brutalist Build yielded some rather attractive results as part of RIBA’s Day of Play earlier this month. The Brutalist Build was a partnership between RIBA (the Royal Institute of British Architects) and BlockWorks, a team or artists, architects and designers who specialise in Minecraft projects.

For this event a multiplayer server was set up for a week and players could log in to build their own Brutalist-inspired creation in plots of Minecraft land.

I was wondering how much of that would be a case of using the monumental blockiness I remembered from my vanilla Minecraft [official site] days and perhaps applying a monochrome effect. That’s not supposed to sound derogatory, it’s because Minecraft’s toolset actually lends itself to Brutalist-ish structures so I wasn’t sure how participants would have taken the idea – whether they would have hearkened back to that older architecture or if this would be something different entirely.

There’s a massiveness to a lot of the early blocky buildings I used to find and create. They weren’t there to be delicate and swooping, nor could they achieve that effect (hence the time I cried about a Tate project in Minecraft). There’s a sturdiness, and an abundance of concrete-like exposed materials which fits the bill when it comes to Brutalism. Bompas & Parr (an adventurous food collective) made a concrete birthday cake for the Barbican Centre once and the exposed glass-wax-in-concrete reminds me of the ore in Minecraft.

What I’m getting at with this is “and we did a version of it in Minecraft” is generally like fingernails down a blackboard to me, but there are some beautiful and effective creations in this project so hooray!

My favourites are below but you can check out the gallery BlockWorks posted on Imgur for more – some original creations and some replicas of real Brutalist architecture:


Created by Meester_Curly, image via BlockWorks


Created by RobChambers, image via BlockWorks


Created by Lindblumen, image via BlockWorks


Created by RobChambers and petitetealover, image via BlockWorks

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Philippa Warr

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