A Peaceful Place

Experience tranquility with Potala Palace!

The tall mountain range that spans around the city of Lhasa is a marvel to look at. Among them stands an ancient structure perched on a smaller mountain, not even nearly as tall as the others, but still a sight for sore eyes.

You know what else is sore? My feet! If it weren't for these endless stairs I would be able to enjoy the view. Instead, I’m breathing like a 90-year old man (thanks for nothing, asthma) at the altitude of 3,700 meters above sea level. I better find some inner peace when I reach the top! Or I will be FURIOUS.

Luckily for me, Potala Palace, located in Tibet, China, is the epitome of calmness. 375-years old and a World Heritage Site, it was once home to the Dalai Lama. Its simple yet elegant design makes it, in many ways, the perfect build to recreate in Minecraft. At least according to Jockes, a 16-year old Minecraft builder with a thing for organics and detail.

Unlike me, he’s not looking for peace – just a really cool build. Recently, the stars aligned and he found what he was looking for.

“When I first saw the image of the building, I realized right away that I could use certain blocks to get the perfect colour of the [red and orange] centerpiece,” Jockes tells me.

Like a practitioner of Zen, he didn’t put much thought into picking Potala Palace as his project. “The reason I chose it was because I really liked the shape and it had very many windows, which at the same time could be very easy to make in Minecraft, but difficult to make it not look repetitive.”

Shape is something Potala Palace has plenty of with its inward-sloping walls, which suits Jockes just fine. Habit or not, he sometimes leans on the anatomically incorrect, mostly noticed in his organic builds, which he thinks is a special trait of his. “In a way they seem to work out. As far as structure goes, I have developed my own style by working side by side [with] so many other builders. To me, even the smallest details count, including mushrooms, a very commonly used item in my projects.”

Jockes usually makes grand sci-fi builds, some from famous movies, screenshots of which I haven’t included here because of a fun thing called ‘copyright law’ (nothing stopping me from plugging his portfolio here though).

That makes Potala Palace, a recreation of a real structure, a major departure for him. Yet, it’s a genre he enjoys exploring as he always strives to make the build as close to the real version as possible. Potala Palace was no different and the timing for it was perfect.

“At the time, recreations were quite a big hit, especially due to the fact that they were easy to replicate into realism, along with the help of renders of course. For April Fool’s day, I even posted a few images of the actual piece and claimed them to be renders of my project. People actually fell for it.”

The palace would prove quite a challenge due to the limited palette of colours Jockes was able to use. With over 13 stories and more than 1,000 rooms, Potala Palace also has an overwhelming amount of interior to portray. This made Jockes put all his effort on the exterior, focusing on completing the center part first. Though he did have some help "the credit for the trees goes to H2CO3, another great builder who is very skillful in designing trees," says Jockes of the impressive vegetation!

“Luckily, it was a success and after [it] was built, I continued to do the rest. The build was pretty scrambled, and quite unorganized. I went on and off from the structure and terrain once the basic shape was laid out, and eventually once all the details were put together I was able to call it complete.”

Outstanding! Wish I could call something complete. I didn’t even manage to complete this arti

Renders by Muuto and Turnip_N0se

Per Landin
Written By
Per Landin