Project Soane was an international competition organised by HP and NVIDIA in collaboration with Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the industry magazine CGarchitect, Autodesk and the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation. The mission was to recreate and visualise in 3D the original Bank of England designed and built by Sir John Soane.
Soane was appointed architect and surveyor to the Bank of England in 1788 and during the next 45 years rebuilt and extended much of the bank. Sadly, Sir John Soane’s contributions to the building were demolished in the 1920s to make way for renovations, a move considered by many historians to be one of modern architectural history’s greatest losses. Today, only historical drawings, sketches and a few rare photographs exist to show how the original space would have appeared.
The Hoare Lea CGI proposal was to showcase the daylighting features of Soane’s architecture, as we interpreted his intent, by creating a Virtual Reality (VR) experience for what would have been the Consols Office at the Bank. Hoare Lea selected this space for its wonderful feature skylight dome and clerestory windows, which Soane would have designed to allow as much daylight as possible into the area.
Once placed in the ’virtual’ Consols Office, the viewer is able to travel forward and backward through the day in 15 minute increments, from sunrise to sunset. They can experience how the sunlight would have entered the room and travelled through the space.
When they reach the evening point when it is almost pitch black inside. The scene then changes to show what a modern lighting scheme might have looked like if the space still existed. Also the user has the controls necessary to switch the main lighting components on and off and can experiment with different lighting treatments to create effects across the architecture.
As many of you know the problem with VR headsets is that they restrict one person to experience the virtual space at a time. Often the VR equipment is tethered to a specific space which is restrictive and not ideal. To top it off VR headsets are costly, so Hoare Lea decided to make a mass experience and have recently created a cloud-based interactive version, which can be experienced on any smartphone browser through Google Cardboard VR viewer or a similar viewer click here
Were offering a free Hoare Lea Cardboard VR viewer give away with the last 50 copies of our Design Exchange #FutureForecast edition.
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