Go Inside an Intensely Detailed Minecraft Version of Downtown Chicago

You can build just about anything in Minecraft, and many users have taken it upon themselves to remake the physical world within the game, erecting pixelated homages to the entirety of Denmark, for instance. Now Minecraft tourists have a new destination to explore: the city of Chicago. A dedicated Minecraft user recently recreated the Windy City in painstaking detail at half-scale, as Curbed Chicago reports.

The project, posted on Imgur, took three and a half years to complete. Redditor Koodoo25 slowly built up the virtual city using data and images from Google Maps, Emporis, and Skyscraper Page, along with models from SketchUp 3D Warehouse to make the model accurate down to the details on the buildings’ facades. “There may be a few tiny details or dimensions a little bit off, but everything down to the placement of street lights and trees was done to recreate what I saw in Google Maps StreetView as accurately as I could,” the creator writes on reddit.

The city is at half scale because the model has to accommodate the Willis (Sears) Tower, which at a 1:1 scale would be far taller than Minecraft allows. The game has a 256-meter (840 feet) height maximum, and the building stands 442 meters (1450 feet) tall. And that’s without its spire.

Since the model is so exhaustive, it only includes buildings in the center of downtown Chicago. At this rate, it would take decades to visualize the entirety of the city's 234 square miles.

You can download it and explore yourself via Planet Minecraft. It’s still in progress, though, so although it'll never include every neighborhood in the city, expect to see a few more areas added in the near future.

[h/t Curbed Chicago]

All images courtesy Koodoo25 via Imgur

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Houben and Van Mierlo Architecten
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Dutch City Will Become the World's First to Build Inhabitable 3D-Printed Concrete Houses
Houben and Van Mierlo Architecten
Houben and Van Mierlo Architecten

A new 3D-printed concrete housing development is coming to the Netherlands in 2019, CNN reports. The structures will be the first habitable 3D-printed concrete houses in the world, according to Project Milestone, the organization behind the initiative.

While architects and engineers have been experimenting with 3D-printed buildings for several years, most of those structures have just been prototypes. The Dutch development, located in Eindhoven, is expected to be ready for its first residents by mid-2019.

Project Milestone is a collaboration between the city of Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology, the contractor Van Wijnen, the real estate company Vesteda—which will own and manage the houses—the engineering consultancy Witteveen+Bos, and the construction materials company Weber Beamix.

A rendering of boulder-like homes in the middle of a field
Houben and Van Mierlo Architecten

The five planned homes will be built one by one, giving the architects and engineers time to adjust their process as needed. The development is expected to be completed over the next five years.

The housing development won’t look like your average residential neighborhood: The futuristic houses resemble massive boulders with windows in them. The first house, scheduled for completion in 2019, will be a 1022-square-foot, three-room home. It will be a single-story house, though all the rest of the homes will have multiple stories. The first house will be built using the concrete printer on the Eindhoven University of Technology’s campus, but eventually the researchers hope to move the whole fabrication process on-site.

In the next few years, 3D-printed houses will likely become more commonplace. A 3D-printed home in Tennessee is expected to break ground sometime later in 2018. One nonprofit is currently trying to raise money to build a development of 100 3D-printed houses in El Salvador within the next two years. And there is already a 3D-printed office building open in Dubai.

In Eindhoven, residents appear to be fairly eager for the development to open. Twenty families have already applied to live in the first home.

You can learn more about the construction process in the video below.

[h/t CNN]

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These Proposed Concrete Pipe Homes Could Ease the Housing Shortage in Hong Kong
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iStock

For many young people in Hong Kong, where space is limited and rent continues to soar, moving out of their parents’ home and into their own apartment remains a pipe dream. But Hong Kong-based architect James Law has his own pipe dream—and it could bring some much-needed affordable housing to the city of 7.3 million.

As spotted by Dezeen, a concept by the architecture firm James Law Cybertecture outlines a plan to construct micro homes out of concrete water pipes. The individual pipe homes could be stacked on top of each other and squeezed into narrow, unused spaces between city buildings.

"OPod Tube Housing is an experimental, low-cost, micro-living housing unit to ease Hong Kong's affordable housing problems," James Law told Dezeen.

Although it's still a concept, an “OPod Tube Housing” prototype built by the firm is homier than you would expect. The tubular-shaped home contains all the basic necessities for cooking, bathing, and sleeping. A bench seat can be converted into a bed, and there’s room for a mini fridge, microwave, suitcase stand, and clothing rack. The glazed door also doubles as a window, and lighting strips and a retractable lamp are also built into the homes.

Hong Kong is one of the most expensive places to live on Earth, and the average resident’s apartment takes up about 150 square feet of space, according to Quartz. Another company in Hong Kong, called Markbox, has been converting shipping containers into micro apartments.

Check out Quartz’s video below to learn more about the OPod Tube Housing design.

[h/t Dezeen]

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