ART OF

WHAT IF METROPOLIS?

Azmarin

PETER VOULKOS

Travelogue
On a flat open plain lies the city of Azmarin, built within a series of grand canals that gently flow from the main central
plaza, like bicycle spokes stretching out to the edge of city where they join the outer rim that forms the cities
protective moat. This neat and organised canal layout provides 8 triangular areas of land in which the city thrives. Each
segment has a purpose:-              Markets
-              Manufacture
-              Recreational
-              Educational
-              4 residential segments
The residential areas sit on the east of the city from behind which the morning sun rises. To the west lies the other half
of the city where the trade and work segments can be found. The cities class system determines how near to the
central plaza a resident will live, the upper class being nearer and within easy reach of the city’s west side with the
lower and working class on the outer edges of the east side but benefiting from the morning sun.
At the very heart of the city stands tall the main parliamentary office building. Built on cylindrical stone stilts, that
would not be out of place in a Roman palace, and above where the canals meet stands this magnificent stone building.
This flagship building of whites, yellows and creams glows with its own importance, its dome form moulds  the
character of the cities architecture.  Floors to ceiling windows gives the perfect view of the entire city for which the
building serves.
Although influenced by the main plaza building the rest of the cities architecture lacks this perfection and precision
resulting in a contrasting city. The tall dome shapes remain a feature but there irregularity in shape, additional
extensions to create more room in a limited space and lack of organised pathways provide a jumbled and disorganised
environment. The stone used to construct these interesting buildings came from the quarries beyond the city moat
which is now manned by a skeleton team of workers as the space to build has been exhausted. The variety of small
different sized windows is a stark contrast to the main plaza building and restricts the views of the city to its
inhabitants. However, it does enable habitants to keep their homes warm and cosy inside.

The city’s infrastructure of grand canals and surrounding wide moat provides no scope for extension and as a result the residential and
commercial segments are crammed with buildings between which run narrow warrens of connecting stone pathways. The narrowness
of these pathways makes for a claustrophobic environment, which would be dark if it was not for the plentiful oil lamps that hang
from the buildings and provide a warm glow throughout the entire city. What strikes you as you explore this city is the number of
bridges that span the grand canals, those linking the main plaza building to each segment are grand and ornate in their construction
demonstrating the skills of the stone masons that created them.
Those fortunate enough to own a boat will use this as their main form of transport, unfortunately those in  most need of a boat that
live further from the west side are those that are less likely to be able to afford one. Boats are the sole method of transport for the
cities essential goods and services which are needed in and around the city as well as bringing crops, fuel and food in from the
agricultural and mining land beyond the moat. The city is completely self-sufficient and does no trade with any other neighbouring
district. This also means that visitors are few and far between but those that do visit do not go unnoticed by the locals, you will feel
the eyes of the city upon you as you explore this metropolis
The market segment is alive during the day with the sounds of people bartering and announcing their wares to the passing public, a
collective array of sounds that leave you turning your head back and forth to ensure you do not miss a single transaction. The smell of
rich aromatic spices, fish and meat, the colours of the fresh fruit and vegetables and the varieties of fabric that are soft and silky to
touch coupled with the opportunities to sample such delights from the large open cooking pans stimulates each of your five senses.
The recreational segment offers open green spaces and plenty of opportunities for families’ to relax and play together. Depending on
the time of the day these segment can be calm and quiet as adults sit and have lunch or stroll through the ornamental flower beds or
the area can be alive with the sounds of children laughter as they dart in and out of the refreshing water fountains. 
The manufacturing segment is less frequented by visitors however if you do walk through you get a distinct feeling of purpose, the
consistent sounds of hammers against an anvil and lathes across a piece of oak, as the cities essential goods are produced fills the air
around you. The space feels dirty yet valued as the various tradesmen slave over their tools with skill and commitment. The smells
differ and change as you walk deeper in to the segment, from the fresh smell of sawn wood to the warmth of the coals in the
blacksmiths furnace.
The educational segment is as industrious as the manufacturing segment yet in a nurturing and playful manner, children spend the
majority of their day outside learning the trades and skills they will need to step in to the shoes of their fathers in order to keep the
city alive.
The aroma as you walk through the residential segments is from the habitants use of clay ovens which is their sole way to cook, and
heat their homes. This also creates a blanket of smoke across the whole east side as light fades and the evenings draw in.
A real city of two halves, every habitant has a role to play within the city so whilst the west side is busy and vibrant during the day the
east side will be deserted and cold, as a day draws to an end these situations are reversed.

Research

Bump map
and textures

Orthographs

Production art