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Into the Woods

Modern designs from Omar De Gante!

Who's up for going into the forest to try playing REAL LIFE Minecraft? Not me! Yes, despite my aroma and sense of style, I didn't grow up in a forest. I'm a city boy, one who may be good at punching trees into wood and building myself a shelter in Minecraft - but in a real forest? Oh please.

My puny fists don't stand a chance against a piece of paper, never mind an entire tree. My attempt to build a shelter would just be me, lying under a pile of twigs, weeping about how much I miss my espresso machine, mobile phone and all my other beloved electronics that you apparently can't build out of twigs.

Clearly if I was to wander into a forest, I'd be dead in seconds. Unless, of course, I stumbled upon one of these beautiful modern homes from Omar De Gante! Contrasting cleverly with the natural world, Omar's design couldn't be more 21st century. The comforts of modern living, located in the lush greenery of nature? I might just have a home in the forest after all.

Omar lives in Mexico, where he's planning to study architecture, and it was that planning that led to him discovering the game. “One day I was looking for modern houses on Google,” he explains “and saw a house built in Minecraft. I really liked it and so I started to look for more houses in Minecraft and one day decided to download the game to start building my own houses.”

“I like the way how creative Minecraft can be used for Architecture projects. You can even build concept projects with all the blocks and items it has, all of them let you make not only houses, you can also build city projects and 3D Art, so for me Minecraft is more than just a game.”

We asked Omar to take us through the construction of three of his architectural projects. Happily, he obliged!

Forest House

“The Forest House was made on the Block by Block creative server,” explains Omar. “ I planned this house from a paper; I drew the layout and the structures of the house thinking on Minecraft blocks and tried to add as many details as I could.

“Such as ladders, fence gates and rails, giving a real life look to the house. The house is situated in a forest, so I used birch wood to make it realistic.” We'll be realistic too, and accept we're never going to live anywhere this grand looking. Sob...

The Glass Pavillion House

“This house was built in single player,” explains Omar. “It’s a re-creation of the real life house The Glass Pavilion by Steve Hermann.

Inspired, Omar dug deeper, finding as much info about the house as he could to help his recreation. “I searched the plans and pictures of the house from all the angles. Then I started to build it with a scale of the real life house. I got to admit, it was very hard to build it because it’s very big, and I tried to give the best work”

Well the work paid off! “I made the whole house, interior and exterior. Finally, I got the result I wanted to and I’m glad many people like the house.” Like the house? I like it so much, it's inspired fresh waves of depression in me about the state of where I live! Great job!


“I started making this house taking inspiration from real life Japanese Architecture,” says Omar. “So I created a minimalist pattern around the house which functions as kind of wall and allows natural lighting to get through it. This structure makes the house look very minimal and simplistic from outside into inside.”

Any specific Japanese architects? “Shintaro Fujiwara and Yoshio Muro,” says Omar. “Junya Ishigami with the Kanagawa Institute and from Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office.” I did a little research into these modern Japanese Architecture myself (googled them), and it's not hard to see how their blocky style influenced Omar – a style that naturally translates well to Minecraft.

"I like the little and big details. In my opinion modern architecture is making simple things into complex things working with interior."

That seems to be the secret to Omar's success – he takes the time to plan carefully before even laying down a single block. “Taking time on each build is really important,” says Omar. “You don’t have to rush your builds.

“It’s really important to have an exterior working with interior, that way it makes the house feel more realistic. And the most important thing is to plan the house on a paper before getting on Minecraft. Plan the layout, the walls, the structures, and the features such as windows, entrance, landscape and the site where you want your house to be.”

Given the results, it's hard to argue with Omar's strategy. Who knows? Perhaps if I'd planned better, I would live in one of these magnificent modern designs! Instead of in an old fridge box in a swamp. Enjoy more of Omar's work here!

Tom Stone
Written By
Tom Stone

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