Virtual Architectures is a project which aims to explore new possibilities for the creation of immersive architectural experiences using virtual reality technology.

Oculus Rift HeadsetUsing the new breakthrough Oculus Rift virtual reality headset in combination with the powerful Unity video game development platform, Virtual Architectures seeks to resurrect ruins from the history books and give life to unbuilt designs otherwise consigned to the architect’s drawing board.

Unlike existing established practices of architectural visualisation which offer static images or carefully orchestrated video fly-throughs of 3D models, the use of virtual reality enables the user to experience the architecture from within and explore it as they wish.

Unity Tuscany Demo in Oculus RiftThrough the exhibition of virtual reality experiences Virtual Architectures seeks to engage a wider public and further practical applications for this technology beyond the field of video gaming in architecture, urban planning, heritage and education.

To this end Virtual Architectures is keen to establish partnerships with interested businesses and institutions to build and exhibit virtual reality experiences. Going forward it is also our hope to be able to offer public workshops on getting started in 3D modelling and Unity game development.

The Virtual Architectures project is being led by Oliver Dawkins who is currently studying the MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis & Visualisation at The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) in UCL. As the project develops Oliver will be joined by fellow MRes students with a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds and expertise.

Please check the Virtual Architectures blog for project news and updates.

Further information about the project technologies can be found here:

Unity – http://unity3d.com

Oculus Rift – http://www.oculusvr.com/

Images courtesy of Oculus VR press dept.