What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality lets you look around your home, in your own time, at your leisure, for as long as you want, and at every angle.
You get to really feel the spaces, imagine yourself enjoying your time in your new home. You get to immerse yourself and really see the colors, materials, textures, understand interior and exterior vistas, and actually see how everything is designed the way you want it. You can finally FEEL yourself in your new home.
SEE how the light comes into the living room. FEEL how the spaces flow as you walk from the front door to the back garden SEE the views from bedroom window and FEEL the size and even the personality of the kitchen.
Your family can also walk through their gracious home to see every room in exact detail before any construction begins. With your pair VR goggles imagine every future memory, every fun family event, every milestone—we did say this was going to be fun, right?
Virtual Reality is a Huge Improvement Over the Way We Used to Do It
The process used to be quite arduous. Clients were given a set of plans printed out on paper. Often times they’d be messengered over or sent electronically. Often enough the client would be reviewing the plans without the Architect present. The client would then try to read the plans. They would try to interpret the flat, 2D drawings and try to envision all the lines on all of the pages and create a 3D model of their home in your head.
Architects can do this. It may be a combination of innate talent and a learned skill, but none the less, it’s a skill they have which most people don’t without a lot of training. Learning this skill for some is fairly easy, for others it is almost impossible. For everyone it takes time. The problem is that by the time we are done designing your home you will be good at reading the drawings. (Many people will only build one or two custom homes in their lifetime.)
Now imagine how much easier, better and more specific your critique of the design for your home would be if you could simply walk through the home in Virtual Reality. If we skipped over the need to learn how to interpret all of the line drawings and could instead allow you a three dimensional, 360-degree view of each room—then you and your architect would be speaking the same language – your language!
A custom home is like a perfectly tailored suit or dress. It is possible to find good colors, very good fabrics and even very good style buying off the rack, but it will never give you that crisp fit, feel, and snap of a tailored piece
Check out our video animation of our Villa Tres Mares project below to get an idea of what you COULD see through your virtual reality goggles.
Home Designs Are Better With Virtual Reality
Architects are asking their clients to actively participate in crucial discussions. The process starts with you telling your architect all of the hopes, dreams, wants and needs that you have for your home. The architect then interprets all of these and stirs in what they know about your site, the movement of the sun, and all their experience planning and sculpting a home—they then show you a concept design.
At the moment your architect turns over the Virtual Reality Tour of your new home, one of the most important parts of the design of your home begins, namely your critique of that concept design.
Remember, your critique doesn’t start with having to learn how to interpret the line drawings, you are instead instantly transported inside of your home. You can “feel” how the spaces feel. Our conversation are then elevated because your experience includes textures, light, really everything. Is the wall of glass a little too much glass? Is the hardwood floor a little too dark or light?
You will be able to see in 20 to 30 seconds what a day’s worth of sun passing over the front of your home, then the back of your home, then from the kitchen and then from any other room that is important to you feels like. The difference between traditional architectural drawings and Virtual Reality is literally night and day.
No more having to say, “I just thought the breakfast room would have had more morning light or I was hoping that my master bedroom would have had less light.” The level of detail you can explore through Virtual Reality is vastly greater than with traditional drawings. No more hoping it will be better, seeing is actually believing!
Getting the design exactly right and tailored exactly to you is the job. Here is a recent example; we were walking our clients around their home and explained that while there was a lot glass facing the street, the home would still be very private. They needed both the light and the privacy. We simply used clearstory windows and a generous entry courtyard to both bring in a ton of natural light and to keep the interior private.
At first they were nervous about how much glass faced the street, but as we walked through their home they saw the quality of light, yes they saw the quality of light, and – simultaneously – that the privacy was maintained, they became quite excited about the overall concept. It was so much easier to explain both the concepts and the feel of these ideas with Virtual Reality. Yes it is one thing to explain a design, quite another to show you how it feels.
There is a difference between an awesome design and one that is terrible. I think most people can easily tell the difference even with antiquated drawings between excellent and awful. Really we are talking about the difference between excellent and Just-All-Right. Just-All-Right is perfectly fine for most people. Just-All-Right is an up- grade from the standard production home made in America these days. The problem is that Just-All-Right and Excellent Design might look the same with normal lines on the page. Just-All-Right is never fine for any of my clients. It just isn’t, they have higher goals.
Virtual Reality Improves Project Timelines
Virtual Reality saves you time. Your Time is valuable. And as your architect, I will need a lot of it to achieve the design excellence that you need for you and your family. In today’s busy and crazy world, the one currency that we all have less of and need more of is TIME.
Working with a virtual reality architect will give you the ability to walk and explore your new home, at your time, in your convenience. Remember that crucial step in the design process that will ensure that the design is tailored to you and your family? Well, imagine hooking up your virtual model to your home theater setup to walk and explore for your home hours.
Hey, I did say that this was going to be fun too, didn’t I?
We always encourage face-to-face meetings, but we all know that life today is hectic and they are not always possible. With Virtual Reality you can work effectively with your architect remotely and explore a model together via web-conferencing. Architects who also use Virtual Reality can work internationally with relative ease. You can now think of building a home abroad without feeling nervous about the process.
A virtual reality architect embraces the elevated conversation about the design your home. When every team member has a comprehensive depth of understanding and the means for meaningful exploration, there is a clear path to enlightened design. Gone are the costly misunderstandings, lost time, mistrust, stress, and disappointment. As anyone that has ever built a custom home knows the two worst words – by far – in the English language are Change Order. What remains is the joyful art of creating elegant, thoughtful spaces.
Truthfully, we would be very reluctant to advise anyone to take on the design of a custom, luxury property without the aid of Virtual Reality because it is simply too risky. The risk of disappointment, wasted time and increased stress are simply too high. There are many reasons to insist that your architect use Virtual Reality to design your home:
With a pair of VR goggles, you’ll understand so much more than with traditional architectural drawings. The difference is night and day.
The design of your home will be better because you are an active participant in the process and can provide educated, precise and informed feedback.
See your home before it’s ever built. Look at the views, decide where to put your favorite chair. Have a sense of the texture, light, and quality of your home. Plus share this with family and friends. See how one of our clients reacted when she saw her home in Virtual Reality for the first time.
When you are buying a new car, would you really buy that car without getting in, testing out how it fits you? How comfortable is the seat for you? How does it drive? How does it handle? Is the cabin quiet? Do you love the hum of the engine? We all have these questions so we need to take it out for a spin and see how it feels. So, why would you design your new home without being able to test-drive it?
Virtual Reality is the test drive.
You will easily spend 10 or even 20 times the amount of money on your home than on a luxury automobile. This is why you’ve got to be able to test drive your home just like you would a BMW 7 Series, an Audi A7, or a Tesla Model S to determine which one feels best to you. So, why in the world wouldn’t you demand a test drive?