For years people have presaged the game-changing aspects of Virtual Reality in the field of architecture. Head-mounted displays like Oculus Rift, Hololens and others can trick your body and mind into thinking you are somewhere else--standing on the edge of a cliff, riding a rollercoaster, or walking around a building you haven't constructed yet.
This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Life on Mars? Architects Lead the Way to Designing for Mars With Virtual Reality."
The Star Wars universe contains some impressive buildings. However, in the original trilogy, it's actually the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo's non-descript yet highly tuned ship, that provides the most important architectural setting for the story's events, acting as the de facto base for our heroes' scheming. While it's certainly not the largest or most complex floor plan in the universe, the interior of the Millennium Falcon is intriguing for the way it resolves the ship's circular shape.
In designing his (unbuilt) house for the Arts & Architecture Case Study program, Whitney Smith, like Richard Neutra, prioritized the connection to outdoor space. His motivation, however, was more specific than a desire to extend the living area of a small house. Rather, he wanted to create a highly personal space, geared to the passion of his hypothetical client. Seeing conventional plans as a straitjacket for residents who craved appropriate working space within their home (be it a sewing studio or a photography darkroom), he aspired to fit this house to the needs of a keen horticulturist.
If you’ve heard of Second Life, the 2000s-era web-based online world with millions of loyal “residents” who populated it with personal avatars, you’re likely to think it has become irrelevant or obsolete. But at the peak of its popularity, the site received a lot of attention for providing users with a potentially dangerous escape from reality—one so powerful that it was not unheard of to leave real jobs, friends, and families for those found within the site.
Of the four homes designed by Richard Neutra for the Case Study Houses program, post-war thought experiments commissioned by Arts & Architecture, only one was ever realized. In the imaginary village of the program's many unbuilt homes, next to #6, the Omega house, stands #13, named Alpha. Archilogic’s 3D model gives us a unique chance to experience this innovative concept home.
Architecture depends on its time. It is the crystallization of its inner structure, the slow unfolding of its form. – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Traditional 3D models made up of surfaces have for a long time aided us in visualizing buildings and spaces, but they often come at a cost: large models require a lot of storage and processing power, and can become incredibly complex to the point where they are difficult to navigate. As a part of our Selected by Sketchfab series, Sketchfab has their eye on a more efficient, increasingly common method of capturing architectural spaces; namely, point clouds. Point clouds are made up of a set of points located in a three-dimensional coordinate system, that when put together merely give an impression of the surface of an object, or the façade of a building.
The physical properties of glass are invaluable and unequaled when it comes to the architect’s material palette. From the time of the cathedrals and the the brilliantly colored stained glass that served a functional and didactic purpose, to the modernist liberation of the floor plan and the exquisitely-framed horizontal views provided by ample windows, architects have turned to glass to achieve not only aesthetic but performative conditions in their projects.
Patrick Bateman’s apartment from American Psycho is one of the most iconic locations in recent film history – his bone-white business card writ large. The sterile set design, by Gideon Ponte, is as impersonally creepy as Christian Bale’s performance (sure, put a telescope by the window, why don’t you; a serial killer without voyeurism just isn’t scary enough.) Archilogic’s interactive 3D model invites you to experience the apartment from the inside – without fear of an axe to the head.
The building is hidden by the silver-grass forest. The whistle of the wind from the sliver-grass leads the way. At the end of a leafy and curved pathway, you can meet a heavy wooden door. The black bamboo welcomes you through the spaced wooden fence, and natural sunlight filtering through the louver, enveloping the dark entry space. Walking through this entry space, you can see the peaceful front courtyard, covered with Korean fine soil. Experience of dark and light: this is what triggers your emotional experiences in this space. When you enter the front courtyard, you can see the forest valley through the wide open Farm café. The sense of nature from the valley stays in the farm a while, and passes through the wooden fence.
Our friends at Sketchfab have noticed a recurring trend: among the many 3D scans shared on their platform, a significant number are of historical doorways. Often neglected in today’s designs, doors and doorways are essential physical and mental transition points between the interior and the exterior of a building. While Mies van der Rohe’s strive for visual continuity and the use of glass doors has some critical advantages, it is not applicable – or only poorly applicable – to every design case. Fortunately, history shows that visually and spatially differentiating doors and doorways from the rest of a facade can be a resourceful alternative.
Online model sharing site Sketchfab last week announced three new features intended to solidify its position as one of the web's foremost platforms for sharing VR-viewable 3D models online. Originally launched in January of this year, the virtual reality features of Sketchfab's platform have proven to be popular and has even led to Sketchfab being referred to as "the Youtube of VR."
As A Quincy Jones rightly said, “There’s no unimportant architecture”. The late architect worked alongside his colleague, Frederick E. Emmons, putting their hearts and souls into the design of Case Study House #24, but sadly it was never built. The location in which Case Study House #24 was to be constructed was once a part of the Rolling Hills Ranch, the area which is now popularly known as San Fernando Valley.
The biggest surprise in this Archilogic model is the spectrum of color. Anyone who has visited the Case Study House 26 in San Rafael, California during the last 40 years would be familiar with the building’s classic all-white steel frame look, but the architect, Beverley David Thorne, had originally picked a very different color scheme: “Dull Gold” for the steel, saffron and other more vivid colors for the interiors. “The choice of exterior colors,” wrote Thorne in Arts & Architecture magazine, “was dictated by the climate and the character of the surrounding landscape.” This Archilogic model recreates the original 1963 conditions, down to the bedroom wall and tile colors.
Every year the Serpentine Gallery commissions an Architect to design a pavilion which will sit on its lawn, greeting the hundreds of thousands of people who will visit over the summer months. Temporary pavilions like this are an important chance for architects to test new ideas, and to communicate to the public what architecture is and could be.
The Metropolitan Museum released a 360º video of their iconic Great Hall on their Facebook page, allowing user to immerse themselves in the building. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt in 1902, the Met’s Great Hall greets over 6 million visitors to the museum each year with its neo-classical design.