The North Style Guide is a comprehensive guide of building styles in the North that is supposed to help builders determine the look of new builds, provide a common nomenclature and consistency across the region.The style guide is based on information from the books as well as inspiration from Northern European (mostly Scandinavia and Russia) medieval construction style. Be sure to check out /warp regiontestnorth for in-game examples and tips.
The North is divided into three stylistic zones. Although the North style distribution is consistent within its region, it has some minor variations for different subsections. For example, the Blue zone features stone more than the northernmost region, while the northernmost region features wood more than the southernmost region. To further partition the North to insure a coherent transition to full winter, the north is divided into three seasonal zones: Autumn, partly Winter and full Winter. (Note: The seasonal map does not completely depict the extent of the regions. Please use judgement to decide which region any given build falls into) Autumn areas use the Extreme Hills biome, while winter areas use Taiga and Ice Plains.
Blue Zone is the most southern of the zones, and its style is closer to the rest of Westeros. While the other zones are mostly focused on wood, blue zone features stone more heavily as a material. It is the only zone that allows daub and wattle walls as well as gray slate roofs. Notable locations are White Harbor, Flint’s Finger and Moat Cailin
Green Zone is the most generic of the three, without much separating it from the others. It does not use all of the blocks available in Blue Zone, but is less restricted than Red Zone. Notable locations are Winterfell, Barrowton, The Rills and Deepwood Motte.Red Zone is the northernmost zone. A lot of this area will be in either partly or full winter. It focuses even more on wood than Green Zone, and also thatch is not to be used here at all. Stick to sod roofs, steep wooden roofs and snow covered roofs. Notable locations are Karhold, Last Hearth, Bear Island and Dreadfort.
North specific blocks
Never use these blocks, ever
Short description and real world references
Most structures should be comprised primarily of wood and stone. The North, being marked with numerous forests, lends itself to a more wood dependent palette than other similar styles (read: The Iron Islands). Foundations in the North often raise the building a bit above ground, either by regular stone foundations or by poles. This was mainly to keep the weather and rodents outside. Sunken buildings are reserved for primitive builds like the clans. Square or rectangular towers would appear more often than drum towers.
A space conservation technique used in cities and certain villages. Do not use this in areas that are not constricted by space. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jettying)
A timeless technique used to resist lateral pressure of soil and other earthly materials. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retaining_wall)
Steep roofs and spiked gables
Cheap way to provide effective waterproofing and insulation.
Houses raised on wooden pillars, stacks of stone and tall foundations
This was common, especially in houses where food would be kept.
Recurring special buildings
There is one at the crofters village outside Winterfell. It’s not clear what purpose they serve in Westeros, but we can assume it was at least used for gatherings. (http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/daily_living/text/longhouse.htm)
Dry distillation ovens used for producing tar from wood
Boathouse - Shelter for smaller boats, protecting from the weather during winter and storms.
Additional Dos and Don'ts
•Have a fireplace or furnace in almost every house
•Use brown wool carpet (fur) and leather for various purposes for interiors
•Have stacks of firewood in abundance
•Have piles of snow hugging the corners roads and structures (pictured: )
•If you are building farms with livestock, make sure to have a barnhouse. They would need it for when it gets cold.
•Have potted flowers, or any flowers unless it is canon
•Have hanging clothes outside unless near a fire or other source of heat
•Have any windows that do not have shutters (half doors and trapdoors)
•Have glass windows on buildings that are not fancy.
•Have a Weirwood at every location; these are meant to be mystical and meaningful, not a common backyard tree
•Overuse stone. Wood is abundant and retains heat well.
•Place snow where it is not warranted. Our map is set at the end of AGOT; the ending months of Autumn. This does not apply to far north builds
•Build houses sunken into the ground. You would see this in the Iron Age, but not really later. The exception to this rule would be primitive builds like the clans.
- Harald Bentz Høgseth, archeologist and doctorate in medieval construction