Here is a model I made, based on Mayan designs I found online. I actually got the idea from a tour of the ruins of Tulum in the Yucatan. There are many beautiful resorts on the Caribbean coast, but the many local people who work there live in towns that don’t seem to reflect the grandeur of their heritage. So I dreamed up an alternative:
El Mundo Maya - HD Video
El Mundo Maya - Mobile-friendly Video
It’s actually a model of models. Several of the structures were modeled individually, then combined together in the model of the overall development. In order to make this workable (due to size / complexity constraints), I had to create images of the building facades from the individual models, then replace a lot of the detail with the images. A nice side-effect of this was that these textures were rendered better than the actual detail when viewed at a larger scale.
There are lots of little things I would do differently, if I were to start over. But I feel that this expresses the concept well, and I’m pretty happy with how it worked out.