Wanted: £1.8bn to build Minas Tirith

Photo: IndieGoGo

A team of architects are attempting to raise £1.8 billion to build a replica of Minas Tirith from The Lord of the Rings.

What you Tolkein about? That is the response from most people when they discover the IndieGoGo campaign led by the group of fans, who are keen to recreate the capital city of Gondor from J.R.R Tolkein’s legendary books. The team plan to base their design upon Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning film trilogy, the last of which unveiled the white city to the world.

The campaign promises to create “a beautiful, inspirational and fully-functioning replica” of the city, with an aim to “challenge the common perception of community and architecture”.

“We believe that, in realising Minas Tirith, we could create not only the most remarkable tourist attraction on the planet, but also a wonderfully unique place to live and work,” say the fund-raisers.

While they are aware of the ridiculous nature of their ambition, they have also outlined their strategy to make Minas Tirith a “sustainable” working city, with ideas for both residential and commercial properties. Indeed, a lot of thought has gone into the residential arm of the project, with homes categorised by tier (out of five), quality (stars from two to five) and size (from one to four bedrooms).

“A “3.4.2 property”, for instance, would be located in the 3rd tier of the city, be of a 4 star quality and have 2 bedrooms – perfect for a young family,” explains the campaign creators.

Despite the apparent attention to detail that has gone into the concept, other information is less forthcoming, with the overall costs estimated at £15 million for land, £188 million for labour and £1.4 billion for material, adding up to a total of £1.85 billion (including money for maintenance and public services up until the year 2053, when presumably the project will become self-sustaining, or orcs will attack.

The architects have singled out two locations “in southern England” for the development.

Fellow fans, though, are taking the project seriously, with £58,406 now raised by 1,471 people in the 13 days since the crowd-funding campaign launched. Minas Tirith now has 47 days left to raise the rest of £1.85 billion, which works out at approximately £39.3 million per day.