‘Floating Dungeons’ in Albert Rodiba, La vie électrique (1890)
Floating Dungeon: 3D modelled and textured
This dungeon imagined by Albert Robida is a demonstration of an inventive way of dealing with prisoners. With the prison system of the 1800s being vastly different to what we see today it was only natural for people to think of new solutions for holding prisoners. This included overcrowding and disease riddling these depressing buildings and both felons and guards alike dying as a result Albert decided to take dungeons to the water. Although the layout of the prison and the use of technology like submarines seem rather familiar to what we see in the 21st century, the idea of having prisons on the water comes with many of its own logistical nightmares. Visiting prisoners for example as well as the cost of keeping a structure of that size afloat permanently. Also, the inevitable risk of rocky waters either sinking this lonely behemoth or causing mass seasickness being enough for the guards to wish for the prior option. With the treatment and abuse of criminals in the 1800s, it’s not surprising that these things would probably have been a second thought. That being said the layout of the prison seems relatively space-conscious as well as practical, having 3 blocks of cells with a walkway between them in addition to ‘crows nest’ type towers giving a birds-eye view of the prison seem extremely optimal even for modern-day. The style and design of this building by Robida is imaginative and looks like it belongs in some sort of fantasy novel and. it was an honour to recreate his work in a new modern medium.
I modelled this dungeon using Maya, blocking out the details and structure as I went along. I then used Substance Designer to colour and texture the model where I also rendered it using the built-in renderer.