Finishing the SS and POA Quads (and Hospital Wing)

[EDIT: There are inaccuracies in this post. See this one and this one for later improvements.]

Relatively short post – time to add the cloisters to the original quad. It is very difficult to make out any detail in the single shot of these cloisters in Chamber of Secrets, but it seems very safe to assume that these were based on the cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral. So what the heck, I’m going for it:

The floor is so plain! I mean, the floor looked a lot like that in the later iterations of the quad, but in the beginning, there were footpaths and a fountain and everything. Looks much better with those in place, even if the walls were tall enough to keep it pretty dark in there a lot of the time.

Fun fact: I haven’t built any doorways from the cloisters into the middle there. There would certainly be at least one in real life, and I’d imagine the miniature had at least one, but I’ve got no idea where it would have been, so I’m not going to bother.

Here’s are a couple of views of the complete original quad:

Not my finest texture work, admittedly. Most of what I’ve created for this project holds up a lot better at larger distances.

Of course, this project is all about the changes to the design of Hogwarts. So when did the quad start to change? Well, the hospital wing got added in Prisoner of Azkaban. I strongly suspect (though I’m not absolutely 100% certain) that the raised, cloister-less floor didn’t come till Goblet of Fire. Here are a couple of comparisons between the pre-Azkaban version (left) and the Azkaban version (right), showing the addition of the hospital wing [EDIT: there are too many windows here – see the next post for the fixed version]:

The off-center placement of the hospital wing is intentional, by the way. It was really designed and built like that.

If you’re still having trouble getting a sense for how the different levels line up, here’s an orthographic cross-section:

Should be quite close, if not precise down to the inch. That’s the back terrace on the lower left and the quad itself in the middle.

Next, tackling the walkways out in front of the quad building, connecting up with the viaduct [EDIT: Actually, I’m pretty sure this is not accurate either; again, see the next post for the fix]:

That render could be of any of the first three films, by the way, since that area didn’t change at all (as far as I can tell).

Where do we go from here? The last remaining major castle structure is the lower walkway (around the bottom right corner of that render) and the terrace to which it likely led in the first two films. But it would be an understatement to say that I’m having trouble finding good reference for that area. Still not sure what I’m going to do about that.

One thing I am sure of? It’s been way too long since we’ve done a nighttime render! Like, waaaaaay too long. Almost a year. The model was half its current size! Here are a few nighttime shots of the Azkaban version to help rectify the situation. See you next time!


31 thoughts on “Finishing the SS and POA Quads (and Hospital Wing)

  1. If I had access to the file and any skill at all with 3D modelling I’d probably try different cloister styles down there to see what fit. From the one image we do have I still don’t think it can be the Gloucester one going by the smooth stone of the upper section, but you’ve done an admirable job with such little information!

    Maybe for a future thing to consider, you could try seeing how Durham or other hogwarts cloisters look, but it is your project.


      1. Also the more I look at it the more I do think there’s some sort of second story – both because of the bare wall from the overhead shot and also looking at the gap between the cloister roof and the wide window on the ‘north’ interior side compared to yours:

        It could be that it’s the same sort of stone gap between the upper floors’ Glouster cloister and the crenellations. Might mock up a photoshop to illustrate better later.

        So far as entrance doors go, one for each path heading towards the fountain on each side seems reasonable in the absence of other data. Failing that, maybe the angled section is an opening?

        Also, unrelated – the metal cage over the well/fountain is pretty nifty. Where’d you get inspiration for that?


      2. Hmm, maybe a Photoshop mockup would indeed help. I will say that the height data is based off of the photogrammetry of that shot, so the quad’s vertical accuracy should be pretty good.

        Your thoughts on the openings are similar to mine…I just don’t think I want to bother with that much speculative detail.

        As for the fountain, that’s based off of a couple of small production photos taken inside the quad during the original build for the first film. Sadly, you can’t make out the cloister behind the fountain, but the metal cage is very visible. I’ve been wondering if it’s based off of a real fountain somewhere but I haven’t had any luck finding anything.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s really cool to see! You found one of the old model production staff then? The wider octagon base looks like it’s modified from the Durham courtyard fountain/lavatory and then built upon.


      4. I’m a fan of the Gloucester cloisters simply because of the location shoot before the troll scene. I like seeing how location shoots nestle into the model, when possible.

        In the second slider, I see that a little chimney disappears on the left by the corner tower. Was that a POA change? Seems small and random.


  2. Hi
    I think the walkways in front of the quad building do not connect with the viaduct. You can see this in chamber of secret scene.

    notice that the walkways from the quad goes down to the chamber of reception. and maybe in bottom of grand staircase tower is a new window?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s because you didn’t space your links out – the site assumed they were one link. Looking at the shots, I agree – and you can see it again in another flyover:

      Looks like the walkway coming from the Quad Arch turns into a stair, and the crenellations from the Reception walkway continue to the link building presumably so nobody falls off. I’ll let Joe figure out how far down it goes… or what kind of door or arch is at the bottom.

      Unrelated, but aptly similar – I also come bearing gifts of a 4K shot that shows a rough but parsable view of the mystery side of the Reception:

      Looks like the ground floor level of it is bare wall, with the upper floor having windows that match the lake-side ones.


    2. Hot damn…I think you’re right. What’s really embarrassing is that I’m pretty sure this has been pointed out to me before. But I forgot, and now that you point out that extra window, I’m more convinced than I was before. Look for an update in the next post! Thank you for keeping me honest, I appreciate it!


      1. I’m just kinda flabbergasted since besides noticing that the lighting map blueprint got oddly rough around here I had no clue the stairs was there! Learn something new every day. 🙂


  3. I don’t know why I can’t send the link but you can see it in scene after spiders and before Harry and Ron go to petrified Hermione.


  4. Can we consider the quad is the area we see in Philosopher’s Stone, right when all the students are going back to their houses because of the troll, and Harry takes Ron away from the group to look for Hermione?


      1. It’s the same place where Harry hides in HBP when he is spying Snape and Draco, I think.

        PS: Great work Joe! Keep it going!


  5. I was gonna tell you about those stairs/ that slope too, but I’m glad someone already did. Someone I talked to found that there was a slope down from the quad to the chamber of reception walkway (and that it doesn’t connect up directly). I think the shot that British73 was talking about is this one. (I made a little monster) Now this is pure speculation, but where would that slope go? I think it links up with the lower walkway of the viaduct, makes at least some sense right?


    1. It could alternatively lead to the same level as the lower walkways around the Quad and courtyard. We’ll see what Joe can pull from the angle and photogrammetry.


  6. Oh, I forgot to ask your opinion on this; there are these doors in the walls of the big arch in the quad, I was wondering if you have any idea how long they’ve been there. I noticed you hadn’t put those in your version yet and I was wondering if that’s on purpose. The earliest evidence I’ve found is from HP5. (From what I’ve seen there appear to be 4 of them.)

    Besides that, when I was looking through my images I noticed that there seem to be some sort of stairs inside the chamber of reception. I only spotted them 2 out of 3 times. Do you reckon those were added in later or might there have been stairs inside that building in the actual miniature?


      1. Even without direct proof, it seems like a reasonable presumption that the doors in the arch were there from the start – otherwise it makes the arch balcony inaccessible to an insane degree where you get there from the dungeon only.


    1. Well that’s an embarrassing miss on my part…whoops! No wonder it looks weird. I based that off of the white card model for Deathly Hallows, but that seems to be inaccurate (even in Deathly Hallows). I’ll show a fixed version in the next post! Thank you!


  7. Do you know why the hospital wing is off centre? Was it just intended to reduce the symmetry of the castle?

    It’s fine it’s just a bit weird and annoying 😛 especially as I’m recreating hogwarts in a game and I’m trying to get it as accurate as possible.


      1. I suppose the outer corner of the Quad building which has the Gryffindor Tower on it was already extended outward in PS and CoS, and then when the Hospital Wing and Clock Tower were added in PoA they decided to make it equidistant between those two towers, as opposed to equidistant between the inner walls of the Quad.


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