Architecture: VR experience
Lengyel Toulouse Architects focus on archeological reconstructions in the realm of architecture. They create visualisations according to hypotheses presented by recognized researchers in the area of history and cooperate with museums, creating models of places that no longer exist.
Lengyel Toulouse Architects
Touch up historic architecture
We experience architecture everyday. Every step we take, we interact with it. We live in houses, we go to our offices, to malls. We usually do not think too much about where we are – that a given place is an architectural object. We move in a specific architectural space that has a meaning. In fact -thanks to the modern technology, also in VR- architecture is very close to us.
The client is interested in hypothetical architecture, that is, reconstruction based on clues, in a sense. They wanted us to develop applications for VR Oculus Touch, which would make it possible to interact with the architecture of the past.
Preparing a virtual tour through history
It is obvious that the client has extensive experience in modeling and that is why they knew exactly what they expected. Their substantive support and opinions were invaluable, all the more that all they do is about a real passion. The appropriate preparation of models that can be used in the VR architecture application and the entire application software development were on our side.
Creating a VR architecture app in which we can move around objects devoured by time, whether in sacred architecture or mysterious places, was a big challenge. We wanted to reflect the realism of such an experience, while sticking to scale and proportion. This application allows users to better understand both the architecture itself and the stories behind it.
In this particular project, work in sprints was not possible due to the nature of the client’s work. Despite the excellent contact and full support concerning the models, the time needed for testing and reviewing was quite long. We used the Kanban board and user stories, thanks to which the developers could complete specific tasks and have them approved by the client. While the client was testing the VR architcture application (its required feature), the developers continued their work on improving the mechanics of the experience, or implementing less important elements. This model worked perfectly.
The first part is a kind of play of imagination, style and conventions. Users are allowed to move pieces (architectural elements) that have a different meaning in isolation than that when they are joined together.
We do not always know exactly the architect’s preferences, and we do not have any clues that could lead us to the right detail. Decorations can vary, depending on the designer’s vision, and we will not always find the answer in a particular style of a given era. Therefore, we can freely select from the pool the elements that could actually occur in a hypothetical building.
An invaluable look back with cutting-edge technology
The application provides a simple and engaging way to gain knowledge about architecture, allowing users to participate in the creative process through the use of VR technology. In addition, they can explore the interior of architectural objects, which are based on the researchers’ hypotheses. And that is fantastic!
We can move freely through spaces we will never be able to visit in reality, as these places do not exist anymore. This is one of the most interesting uses of VR technology – to create space, objects and places we can never actually be in because they have been destroyed or are impossible to visit for other reasons.
In addition, in the case of objects designed on the basis of the hypotheses, many elements may appear interchangeably in the VR architecture app.
Three of the most notable advantages of our solution include:
A truly immersive experience that pleases the eye
We used the Unity 3D engine and the Oculus Rift device to work on the VR architecture app. Architectural objects were created in 3ds Max.