Thursday, February 10, 2011

Waddesdon Manor Project

So what would you do if you had more money than a small country and you wanted to build a house for yourself to let everyone know that fact? You'd build something like Waddesdon Manor. If you've never heard of the place, like me until a few weeks ago, all you really need to know is that it is a country estate located in the village of Waddesdon of Buckinghamshire, England. It was built between the years 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, and is currently part of the National Trust.
The style of the house is called chateauesque and homes in this style are based on those built in the Loire Valley of France between the 15th and 17th centuries. A notable example of this type of design in the US is the Biltmore estate located in Asheville, NC.  One aspect of the style that drew me to recreate this house in the Sims game, and which created the most challenge and frustration was the complex roofline. From domes to conical towers and bell-cast chateau towers, this house has it all.

You can see the real life version above and my attempt at a recreation below it. Apart from the roof, most of the grunt work was spent adding detailing to mimic the intricacy of the real facade. I've learned that if you are striving for realism in a build with the Sims, a lot of detail work is important especially with this type of style. The two images below highlight some of that detail work. The first example shows what I did to recreate the parapeted dormers found on the real version. They have this three spire thing going on with them, which I tried to mirror with the fencing and the addition of a fence light. If you look at the picture on the right, you can also see how I positioned a few statues from the World Adventures EP on the roof to add more decoration. I admit it's a bit much, but more is more with this place. This is no minimalism here Mies.

The remaining images show the back facade as well as the parterre and my own addition to the plans of the manor, a glass roofed pool house. With additions still being made to the art collection of the house you'd think the Rothschild family would have added in a pool by now...c'mon. Currently the architecture and landscaping of the lot are complete. It's on a 64x64 so getting this far was a gargantuan task in itself. The interiors are next, and I'm planning on at least 10 bed rooms and almost as many baths. Here's hoping I get it done before Sims 4 comes out and I'm not being completely facetious.

For my next blog post, I'll go over how I went about recreating the roofing of the estate so if you ever plan on tackling a build in this style make sure to take a look.


  1. Awesome WIP J, Can't wait to see this finished, its going to be incredible <3


  2. Wow! This is absolutely amazing! Jaw--> Floor!

  3. You outdo yourself with every build.

  4. so when am i gonna get a look at this baby in game! :P

  5. Amazing building! Incredible amount of details put into it.

    Anyways, how did you build the glass roofed pool house?

  6. Wow ! I'm open mouthed ! This is really AMAZING !!!
    And how did you build the glass roofed pool house ?

  7. WOW! speachless... Love all of it and are totally looking forward to follow your blog!!

  8. I studied art and architecture in Paris at the American College in France, in 1988. I love Art and Architecture and am a Artist in real life. You have given me back the inspiration I need to keep working at the details in the sims3 game! I love your ideas and pointers too, thanks!!!

  9. Amazing house, I wouldn't even know what do you create thanks to for the interview... I haven't seen such beautiful projects

  10. Wow. Those are some awesome compliments everyone. I hope I can live up to them. Thank you.

    I'll definitely make sure to go over how I made that pool house roof in one of my upcoming posts.

  11. I really appreciate your blog. I've been trying to figure out how to create the roofs demenstrated in your blog. I will be trying them out. Thanks!!

  12. I almost forgot to say congratulations on your EA spotlight! You deserve it. :)

  13. GokuKaren Said:

    Roofing has been a particularly difficult task for me to learn and your instructions are very helpful. Your work is awe-inspiring. I am so glad you are doing a blog alongside your building. Congrats on your EA interview. So glad to know the man a bit better behind the building. Your castles are so exceptional. I had to do a triple take on your picture to see if it was actually Sims, that's how well you have mastered the likeness of your picture.

  14. Woohoo congrats on a well deserved spotlight feature bud, I knew they'd get to you eventually seeing you are such the master buider ;) TJ gives his congrats as well and told me to say hi to you and everyone else. He misses you all but just can't seem to gain back his love for the game with all the limitations and bugs sims 3 has. He says when they decide to give us back the ability to build above 5 floors as well as a few other things, he might come running, but until then he is happy playing other games. he is actually back playing Oblivion once again as well as just Cause 2. Love what you have done with this blog and will be following closely myself. Happy St. Patricks Day and huggies, Terry

  15. O my GOD, Once again Jisgr8 you have outdone yourself! The architecture throught and the painstaking detail is outstanding( I'm currently studying to be an architect and was recently accepted to columbia University) It is such a beautiful lot, and it reminds me of our house in france! I love the chateausque feel of these houses especially Biltmore Estates! You really deserved that spotlight interview, and I hope your talent takes you far in this world! Congrats and I have definetly bookmarked this Blog for future viewing!



    ignore the email address, Junk mail account :P

  16. Absolutly fantastic!!! Grate job! Love it!!!

  17. Jisgr8, i hope you will read this, because i found someone else who uploads this lot.

    is it just a another account of you, or someone who stole your lot?

    Btw: love this manor, the best i have ever seen!

  18. Hello, I would like to share my enthusiasm toward the recreation of the Waddesdon Manor. You truly made a masterpiece!

    I read all of your blog about some of the tricks to achieve such results and it has been very nice to read through it.

    I am sorry I am using this place to write this message to you, but I am unable to find a way to send a private message, there's no send button on your profile, so maybe I guess you've got to be my friend in order of that to happen? I don't know, it is my first time on this nice place!

    I found your incredible work through this link on youtube:

    I am wondering if the environment was also made by you and if so, since I am starting to learn how to use the CAW and I am trying to create my own world, I noticed that, your building is made on a 64x64 lot and on the video there are other lots put together to form a sort of land where to place the building in the middle, in the same fashion as its own park in england. So I was wondering, if you did that, how did you make the front lots go seamlessly from one to the other because when working on CAW, lots can't be placed one next to the other, you need to leave at least one spot free between them, I even tried to put a cheat but with no success, hoping you could do it...

    I am trying to recreate this building, the Villa Pignatelli:

    which is a bit less complex than yours, but has got a big park on the front and on the rear as you can see from here:,14.233837&spn=0.001733,0.002411&t=w&z=19
    (and by coincidence it was owned by one of the branches of the Rothchield from 1841 until about the end of the century), so I was wondering if you could help me in telling the technique employed to make the lots go together that well, just that would solve me SOOOOO MANY TROUBLES! :)

    I hope you can read this and also look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Thank you for your time, patience and also for your great works!
    You really enriched this community.