Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated 3D simulation that enables the user to move completely in a virtual environment. With it, spaces can be experienced and experienced interactively, even if they do not yet physically exist. With progressive technological development, VR has therefore established itself as an indispensable tool for architects, especially in architecture, because this technology offers them the possibility of creating virtual models of buildings and their surroundings. The design can thus be experienced even before construction and adjustments can be made at any time. Even the smallest details can be shown and suggestions for improvement discussed even before construction begins. This ensures that the final result meets expectations and that nothing is overlooked. This approach not only saves time, but also money and resources.
Architecture: alive and in real time
VR gives the user a deep understanding of the dimension of the space and it allows us to view our project in real time. VR makes it possible to offer innovative solutions and respond to individual client requests. Users get an immersive experience of the space and can more easily see the difference between different designs and make decisions. Both architectural practitioners in the planning process, architectural mediators in communication and future users of a project benefit from the use of VR, as the technology offers a variety of advantages for planners and laypeople. With VR, planners can generate a realistic representation of their design and make the presentation of projects to an audience even more lively. In addition, spatial issues can be tested in VR at early stages of the design process, allowing designs to be created and reviewed more quickly and efficiently.
For this reason, VR is a very valuable tool for architecture, as it speeds up the design process and helps to identify and solve problems early on. This is especially beneficial for difficult construction projects. In addition, VR gives clients the opportunity to virtually explore the proposed design before it is actually built. This gives architects more control over the final product and helps them gain a better understanding of the client's vision. It is also a good way to present the project to the client without the need for a physical model.
Basically, a distinction is made between two procedures when using VR in architecture. On the one hand, there are VR site visits, and on the other, VR real-time applications. In the case of a browser-based variant, the VR experience can be used on any end device - including smartphones. This makes the technology suitable as a marketing medium for a broad audience. In the process, 360° images are created from predefined viewpoints and these are logically linked. Floor plans, images, links or videos can also be incorporated into such a tour. This makes it possible to experience the space immersively and at the same time use it as an information platform. In this way, buildings can also be impressively communicated to laypeople without architectural knowledge.
The user can access the website from the comfort of his or her own home. For better communication, this technology can be used directly on the building site. It is possible to overlay the actual state of the building directly with the planned final state. Questions and problems that are sometimes difficult to convey on plans can thus be described and experienced directly on site. No expensive hardware is required for use, as playback is possible on any commercially available tablet or smartphone. The smartphone can also be integrated into special cardboard glasses that give the user a virtual view of the respective rooms. These glasses are very cheap to produce and can be customised with individual designs for advertising purposes. The real-time version, on the other hand, requires powerful stationary hardware or a head-mounted display (HMD). With this, one can interact and navigate in real time thanks to the position tracking technology.
It is therefore possible for the viewer to move completely freely through a room to take up any viewing angle. Furthermore, it is possible to interact with objects. In this way, furniture can be moved or lighting situations can be tried out. However, since the hardware requirements are very high, this type of VR is mainly used for showrooms, trade fairs or for design development in architectural offices. The spectrum of application and design possibilities is almost unlimited and offers an enormous potential to experience architecture in a very vivid way by linking it with other media. We would be happy to advise you on the best approach for your project.