View Full Version : Real life devolopment - castle/fortress

06-13-2011, 01:41 AM
Hello everyone,

Let me first start off saying i apologize if i posted this in the wrong place or this is not the site at all for this. I am a little confused on what you guys do here but just quickly viewing the site i can see you all have some fantastic skills for designing this type of stuff.

My boss has sent me on a wild goose chase to create a few blueprints and find out the numbers to build a real life fort and or castle. I have called up a few people to get started but it seems that i could get thousands of different types of castles/fortress. So i guess my question to you guys is 1. What is the simplest yet effective fortress 2. While not taking 10+ years to build 3. While not being a simple surrounding wall with nothing exciting.

I am new to this so i am a blank canvas... would love some ideas/images of ideas you guys would think. I think he plans on opening it as a museum/tourist attraction. I have googled the images and saw some very impressive ones that take decades to build. We are looking more for something creative but simple.

Thanks in advanced!

06-13-2011, 03:16 AM
well, not knowing the "best" solution, at least when a Castle don't have to be buildt for taking a Catapult shot then one can "cheat" a lot more with construction. I found a homepage once with a company that specialized in building modern castles, have no idea where though, its many years ago. But first thing you'll have to decide as with any building is how big you want to go. You have to think about how many rooms there will be needed, toilet facilities, kitchen facilities, storage, basement (dungeon), etc. Should people be able to live there is also a valid question. The courtyard - how big do you need it, should certain event take place there then you'll have to make room for them. Before you those basic needs set up, you can't start finding plans for it cause you wouldn't know what would be a fit. :)
Sounds exiting though - so good luck and keep us posted in here :) ... I'm sure you can find plenty of help here. :)

06-13-2011, 03:35 AM
This book may help. (http://books.google.com/books?id=6tBZbTHcDXoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=castle+sidney+toy&hl=en&ei=eL31TYufEcyu8QOOkciWBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=castle%20sidney%20toy&f=false)

Good luck!

06-13-2011, 03:49 AM
Thanks so much for the speedy replays.

I kind of got hooked to this website for past hour. Some of the stuff you guys create/post is just.. unbelievable. I started to draw one out myself using my business card & a quarter. Took me twenty five minutes to get part of the outer wall (while somewhat copying somebody's design).

My boss is one of those guys where he gets a basic idea and demands we/me expands on it and deals with all the finer details (and he better like what we come up with). I assume that he plans on opening it up for tourists and events. I assume he wants it to look like an olden day castle with *some* fake canons and what not. Yet overall just the nice walls and views with a nice courtyard.

What i mapped out was. Basically, the four corners are circles which would be towers which people could go onto and overlook the city/town. Then a basic entrance with two towers next to the door (sort of like the Windsor Castle entrance).

For the inside; just thinking and trying to map it out quickly to have something down incase he asks for what i have so far. I am maybe at the end of the castle (by the back wall) would be a dining hall for inside events with a few big rooms and on the sides of the buildings just just interesting artifacts like torches and armor. And then in the courtyard a nice big field where a tent could be placed and just around it some nice gardens and fountains.

Not sure what to put on the second floor (maybe third?) maybe a few bedrooms on the second and a kitchen with a dining room and game room maybe. Sort of like a house inside the castle incase somebody wants to rent it out for the weekend.

Third floor i have no idea.. maybe some offices and more just artifacts.

Not sure if there should be a basement/dungeon.. i am thinking yes because during halloween you could turn it into a haunted house. So maybe a jail-like dungeon?

I really have no experience in this type of stuff; but because my boss thinks i'm creative (because i created a nice birthday card for him) he assumes i am the right man for the job. So i would love *all* your suggestions!

My plan is sort of make a list of a basic sketch *super basic* with some things i would like (i.e. "5000 sq for party tent") and then hand it over to the experts and let them take it on from there.

@rav, i really don't want/have the time to read a whole book on this; i have been reading some wikipedia articles and what not and trying to educate myself but i think a book is a bit *too* much. Thanks so much though!

06-13-2011, 04:06 AM
well.. as the old proverb goes - assume makes an ass out of u me ;) ... you have to find out what its supposed to do as the buildings have to live up to different codes depending on their usage. For instance, should tourists be able to stay there (sleep & eat) which would set requirements for the number of guest chambers and toilet facilities and also kitchen and quarters for staff and such.
Also think about the placement of the building - there are rules for how much of a land plot a building may take up, and probably also how a building may look so dispensations might be necessary. I addition to that some landscaping would probably be nice as well - to really set of a Castle a some what mountainess region is best - but generally the more exiting the landscape around the castle the better imho. :)

06-13-2011, 04:13 AM
I don't think mountains will be possible.. or nothing major at least.

Your suggesting the surroundings of the castle? Could you maybe provide me of images of gardens/castles that you already like? I have seen some and some would seem to make, cost thousands a week on gardening and all that maintenance.. that would be a large setback in price/profit. So definitely some nice basic trees and some flowers, but i'm not thinking anything too major. I think the castle itself will be the main site..

but please try and change my mind; Ii'm a newb at this.

Thanks again for the advice!

Also: I see theres no way to private message a user here? Or can't i seem to find it.. Tilt, i saw those amazing compasses you created. I was wondering if you would mind maybe creating a mockup of a emblem for the castle. I could maybe even pay for the finished one if its as good as the compasses. Maybe like a country-like embed? with lions on the side and a shield in the center with some letters/images? something a bit more creative then that.. maybe something totally different.. no idea. You interested?

06-13-2011, 05:41 AM
What sort of scale are you looking at? Presumably this is going to be a scaled down version of a castle? As an anti spam measure you can only send/receive pms after you have posted 5 messages.

06-13-2011, 07:53 AM
hi anonymousfromyou - you have to have five post in the forum for being able to send private messages. :)

Thank you for your kind words about my compasses - unfortunatly I only do paid work but try searching on google or perhaps deviantart.com to find illustrations to your liking. Remember that everything you see online, unless noted specifically, is copyrighted - so you have to ask the creator for the right to use it. However - as this is for a commercial project my guess is that most artists would like payment in some form :)

concerning the surroundings of the castle I'm guessing you have a land plot allready so how ever that looks is what you have to work with - but hire a landscaper to draw up what can be done with the area when the plans for the castle are done.

06-13-2011, 08:06 AM
Heh, I'd love to see some photos when its finished!

06-13-2011, 11:13 AM
Since I doubt you need a truly authentic castle (nobody's going to be hurling boulders at it), you can probably get by with modern framing and a stone or even faux-stone facade. That being the case, the time and expense would be greatly reduced over building a "real" castle.

I know you're just in the speculative stage of this project right now, but you might ask your boss to permit you to make a request for proposals to some exhibition designers. Getting an experienced creative in on the project at the beginning will almost certainly lead to higher-quality brainstorming and a much better end result. Put together a brief on the intentions for the structure—its potential uses, location, general description, and a budget—and ask several designers to pitch ideas to you.

06-13-2011, 11:28 AM
Thank you all for your input.

I am simply just trying to learn and get the field for this stuff and any information that may be needed. I.e. what type of things would make it look attractive and olden while keeping a modern look. I want to create it to have the olden touch and feel but the modern experience.

I know once you try to attempt one of these "rare" things, the builders think "oh, this guy knows nothing about this.. lets talk him into doing this & that to charge him massive amounts".

I have a few people who are getting back to me on a estimate (obviously this is a extreme guess) and a few basic designs of what kind of castle we want. I thought this might be one of the better places to recommend a style. I have been searching google and what not for hours upon hours and viewing hundreds of photos of stunning castles/forts throughout the world. Each one is very nice but i am not sure which is the best. I like the Windsor Castle entrance but i dislike the rest of the castle.

Basically.. if you guys could describe your "dream" castle. That is what i want, to know what you guys like and think would be amazing. And from there i could pick and choose what would go best together.

As a research i went to Washingtons Crossing PA (http://www.ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing/visit/bowman.htm) and to the Bowmans tower. Its this old tower thats pretty tall, you simply go up in a elevator and look at the view. Its very nice but its simple and theres not much to do. Not much walking around or anything. So i would like to create more Towers in the castle with places to sit and maybe read a nice book. It was a great view but it was small and after two minutes it was just full of bees and rust. But the view was amazing & the fresh air.. i would pay $20 to sit there and read a nice book (if there was nice chair and no bees/rust)

Thank you all again for your input!

P.S if anybody is willing to create a emblem, please let me know.

P.S.S This plans to be located in the suburbs of PA - there are a lot of hills and trees and land is pretty cheap. Its not a final location but best place i have found.

06-13-2011, 01:17 PM
I know once you try to attempt one of these "rare" things, the builders think "oh, this guy knows nothing about this.. lets talk him into doing this & that to charge him massive amounts".

That's why I suggested an experience designer rather than a builder. The designer is paid strictly for the design, not the execution, so there's no profit in dishonestly expanding the scope.

Windsor is far more palace than castle, not to mention very extravagant. Something a bit more modest, like Pendennis Castle, is what I'd shoot for:

You wouldn't need to be bothered with building the star fort. Just the keep would be impressive enough, even if it was merely modern construction with stone dressing.

06-13-2011, 01:25 PM
Hmm, sorta depends if he wants real 20ft thick walls or done with blocks & stone facade. Would make quite a difference I would imagine...

Anyway - you should at least check this out:

06-13-2011, 01:38 PM
To be honest, i really don't see anything attractive about that castle. When looking at other castles i must ignore the historic aspect; since this castle will be modernized and built now, not a few hundred years ago.

I am going for something a bit more.. regal with a sense of simplicity. In basic terms, i am thinking (at the moment) a square castle with circle has the corners. Those would be the watch towers rather then squares. Here is in image i found of something similar - http://www.pinellascountyfloridacriminallawyerblog.com/2009/08/floridas-castle-doctrine-justi.html

I want to obviously use nicer material (or newer) then the one above and make it look cleaner and more royal. I really want to make it so when you walk in you feel as a king/queen. Despite the outside look i want to make the inside very classy with modern things. Very nice marble and walls, that will of course fit the medieval theme.

My main issue is what types of rooms i could implement that i am not thinking of. What kind of things i am forgetting. I.e. a simple flag pole.

I think the small details can really make or break a castle. Make it look somewhat like this: http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/castle-5.jpg

Along with unique things like this: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/english/lion/images/portcull.gif

EDIT: A even closer model of what i would like is: http://www.lulworth.com/castle_park/castle_architecture.htm

The outside figure, not the colors and styles.

EDIT 2: A even closer model: http://www.eastnorcastle.com/ -- this is the Eastnor Castle

06-17-2011, 10:13 PM
If you are looking to build a "real" stone castle then you should check out http://www.castlemagic.com/color.html These guys build custom stone castles.

12-02-2011, 11:02 PM
Look up HH Richardson and the Richardsonian Romanesque Architecture for a place to start.

12-07-2011, 01:44 AM
Ok just being totally honest here...

I think the plain old 4 tower square castle pangs of plastic children's toys and cheap sideshows.

So... You're looking for a classy castle that makes adults gawk like children, where people want to get married or throw lavish parties. Land is relatively flat, hopefully there's some woods and a water feature. You don't have to worry about people flinging boulders at it- that's a plus, but you still want a castle with a regal bearing, and striking and imposing first impression- and a relatively modest gardening bill (for a castle).

I would humbly suggest something more like Ashford Castle... http://www.argophilia.com/news/irelands-most-iconic-hotel-in-receivership/24306/

12-16-2011, 07:57 AM
Seems interesting !
Quick reply to say that if you look for "castle" or "stronghold" in google images, you'll see pictures of actual castles, but if you try the terms "chateau fort" (the french usage for the same thing), you'll see a lot of sketches from many sources that probably will fit more your searches.
Good luck for your project !