SINGAPORE (Nov 13): At the Harbourfront office of ID Architects, virtual reality head Gerard Teo is showing off the company’s “VR cave”: two huge screens and a 25 sq m space surrounded by warm orange spotlights. Slipping on a HTC Vive headset, Teo is transported to a virtual mock-up of Kallang Riverside — a 30-storey mixed-use condominium development designed by his company.
Within this environment, he can perform a range of tasks: measure the height of a wall, determine which angle a door should swing at and leave annotations for his colleagues. The system also allows multiple users to inspect the VR building simultaneously, similar to a multi-player computer game.
The key benefit for architects, Teo says, is getting a realistic sense of the building’s proportions and pre-empting design flaws before on-site construction. “It’s almost like you are in the building before it’s built. If you look down from one of the high floors, you can even feel a sense of vertigo.”