Virtual reality comes to architecture

To increase the effectiveness of visually presenting new architectural projects, virtual reality is being used by architects.

In the past, architects have used both physical models and computer generated 3D models to give clients a sense of how a project looks and feels, but virtual reality promises to vastly improve the visual experience.

What is virtual reality?

Companies such as Oculus Rift and Sony have produced virtual reality headsets that immerse the viewer in a 3D computer generated world. 3D computer images and videos that are viewed through special glasses have been around for a number of years, but they display images that can only be viewed from one viewpoint. Virtual reality systems are interactive. If you see an image of a room, you can look up at the ceiling, down to the floor, or behind you. Motion sensors detect your movements and viewing angle and this information is passed to the software that adjusts the 3D image accordingly.

Virtual reality and architectural design

Several firms are developing virtual reality systems for architects including Arch Reality and Auggd in Australia. Virtual reality systems can depict interior as well as exterior design. In an interior space, viewers appear to be inside the room, so will get a sense of what it is really like to be in the space.

This fully immersive virtual reality experience can also simulate walking through a building. By familiarizing themselves with the architectural space, clients can suggest changes to the design.

After viewing a virtual reality demo, Andrew Parsons of SC Builders said:

“I see VR as an extremely valuable tool to convey the feel of the space to end users with efficiency and precision more than traditional two-dimensional documents ever can.”

In the future virtual reality could be an essential resource for architects.

Posted by Adam Lloyd
August 12, 2015

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