Explorable – Architectural Research

We’ve firmly established that Virtual Reality is a new and emerging field. The excitement of this trumps the awkwardness of there being only a small amount of research into this space. In our explorable environment, our design process has involved constant testing to see what “feels right”, as there are no hard fast design rules. With this in mind, I started to look at similar fields where there are parallels to our project, to inspire us through the design process.

One of the areas of research focuses on physical architecture – how real galleries and spaces are designed. As our space is essentially a gallery, I want to understand what works or doesn’t work in the real world.

Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth – Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

Double height. Panels to show there’s more artwork in the space, hiding it enough that you need to walk to see it.

Nasher Sculpture Center – Renzo Piano

Open plan with small rooms of a central hub. The openings are large, airy and non restrictive. This is a theme in many galleries I’ve seen and could lend itself to our work.

MOMA – Yoshio Taniguchi & Associates

I visited the MOMA when I was in New York last year and loved what I’m going to call ‘the peeking galleries’. The large windows at every stair well and open plan layout allow the visitor to see what’s going on around the gallery even when they’re not in the rooms. For our piece, I like the idea of having some visual hints of what’s to come without having to travel to that space. The MOMA is a great reference for that.

MAXXI – Museo Nazionale Delle Arti Del xxi Secolo – Zaha Hadid Architects

This museum is designed using light as a navigator through the space. There is a very open plan layout but the visitors are guided by high contrast materials which suggest where to go, paired with directional lights. It’s helpful to see examples of light being used in physical spaces, as I’ve been thinking about lighting a lot for our piece. These kinds of spaces have elements that could lend themselves really well to our designs.

The interior galleries also caught my eye, as they use large panels to display the artwork, without using much of the exterior wall. This is an idea I’d like to try for our explorable designs, as it would mean that we wouldn’t necessarily need to build walls.

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