Commercial Micropolis (part 1)


I’ve been lax in my blogging lately, but here I am back again with another installment of my Micropolis posts. This time I’ll be switching gears to talk about commercial buildings. This building was inspired by a pile of elements that I received in a draft and a vision of a tiny brick-built taco. So I decided that I needed to add a taqueria to my city.


Since this building has a big garage at street level (to house a fleet of taco trucks), I made it seven plates tall (21 feet in scale). Most of the walls are 1x2x2 bricks, giving the impression of the kind of concrete walls you see on light industrial buildings.


For the garage roll-up door, I used profile bricks and off-set them on a jumper. I topped it with a tile so that I didn’t have to worry about getting studs to line up again. The recess really helps frame the door, otherwise it just looks like a strangely textured section of wall (even with the color change).


I gave the building two entrances. The one with the awning is for the business, and the low-key entrance on the left is for the apartments that I’m planning on putting upstairs. I really like using 1×2 jumpers to make little overhangs. It’s a small touch, but it adds to the suggestion of a door.


On the back side, I’ve left room for a wide alley. The backside of a headlight brick in a contrasting color reads nicely as a door. The pearl silver dot on the wall stands in for an industrial vent.


The second floor is four plates tall (12 feet) with lots of windows and matching red awnings. I used 1×1 translucent clear plates for the windows to represent multiple panes and stacks of white dots to give some texture in between.

Now my taco truck headquarters has a second floor restaurant.


Since the second floor is a restaurant, I added another industrial vent on the back side where a kitchen might be, but no windows. The stack of bricks in the middle is there to provide support for the upper portion of the building.


Two floors of apartments make up the upper section of the building. I’ve used similar techniques here as I did with my last apartment building, but I didn’t bother with all the plate building since this building doesn’t have exposed masonry.

Since I don’t see this as being a very modern building, I’ve forgone my usual insistence on solar panels or green roofs.


The addition of the roads and sidewalk bring some nice framing. I’ve made the sidewalk on one side a little deeper to make room for the hedges that frame the apartment entrance.


Back in the alley, I’ve used a darker gray for the old oil-stained asphalt and added a couple of brightly colored dumpsters. Again, I’ve used jumpers to get a nice spacing.


As finishing touches, I have mounted a comically oversized taco sign over the building and added my bottom to the module. That taco is 45 feet from end to end, which is probably too big for a realistic sign, but I love the humor of it. The base is color coded with blue and green to denote a mix of commercial and residential zoning.


All in all, I’m happy with this awkward little building. I can easily see it fitting into the edges of a light commercial zone of warehouses and anonymous industrial parks. Not including the sign, the building is about 70 feet tall, which feels a tad much for a building which is nominally four stories (though that is mitigated by the double height first floor).

I have a great office building to talk about next time.

Keep building and enjoy!