This model, a Seaside Castle, is the second build I've completed for my second round in the ABS Builder Challenge, an online competition where LEGO® artists are tasked with implementing a "seed part"—in this case, a silver goblet—creatively into as many builds as possible.
In this particular model, that goblet becomes the turrets of the castle. I was really glad to stumble onto this parts usage early in the contest, especially when I figured out how perfectly the inverted goblet worked with an upside-down 2x2 round brick to make a nestled tower effect. This combination necessitated designing a compact way to invert the towers (see the 2x2 jumpers supporting 2x2 round "donut" plates), and also a way to extend skinnier towers, like those on the keep, with as few seams as possible. I opted to use 2-long Technic pin connectors combined with 1x1 round bricks for this problem, and I'm quite happy with the smooth resultant surface.
Figuring out the geometry of the keep was probably the biggest challenge on this build. After that, the part I played around with most was the layout of the village held within the castle's outer curtain. At first, I didn't include enough buildings, resulting in a sparse-feeling scene. I much prefer the denser town layout you see here. My favorite building is the little church!
The texture and color of the seaside cliff was inspired by the breathtaking rock formations along the Pacific Coast Highway right near Santa Monica Beach in Los Angeles; even though I imagine this castle as a European one, I was happy to pay homage to my actual surroundings.