An upcoming app, named Walkabout Worlds, is hoping to drastically simplify the process of creating a 3D model of existing spaces. Designed as both a tool for turning 360 photographs into 3D models and for creating photographic 3D walkthroughs for VR viewing, the app has turned heads for its demonstration that a 360 photograph can be converted into a rough, simple 3D model in as little as a minute by selecting key points in the image such as the corners of the room, as shown in the video below.
However, with a little more time, the app can be used to create more refined models and to connect multiple rooms together in a single model:
The app’s other main function is to offer an easy way to make and publish walkthroughs of existing spaces, similar to services offered by Google Streetview and similar photographic tours. However, while many other such walkthroughs can lack a feeling of real immersion when viewed in VR, “the 360 walkthroughs [from Walkabout Worlds] are meant to be like a real walkthrough, not just a collection of 360 images with big jumps in between,” explains the app’s creator Kevin Davies. “They are meant to give you a real sense of walking through a place” by reducing the spaces between successive images, adds Davies. These “walkabouts” can then be published online directly from the app and viewed with Walkabout World’s own custom viewer (an example can be seen here).
The Walkabout Worlds app is scheduled to be released for public beta in early May, and will be free to download and publish a small number of models or walkthroughs. To publish more than 5 models or walkthroughs with more than 3 images will require a monthly subscription.
As shown in the LA 2024 map, a majority of events would be distributed between 4 main sports parks: Downtown, Valley, South Bay and Long Beach.
Downtown Sports Park
The largest of the proposed locations, the Downtown Sports Park would center around the existing LA Live Sports and Entertainment District. Main venues here would include the Staples Center, the LA Convention Center, LA Football Club Stadium and the LA Memorial Coliseum. Several buildings on the University of Southern California’s campus would be utilized, including the transformation of a baseball stadium into the main swimming venue. The Olympic media village would be located within new USC dormitories.
Located in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, the Valley Sports Park would be a temporary complex that could be easily dismantled following the conclusion of the Games. Canoeing/Kayaking, Shooting, and Equestrian events would feature here.
South Bay Sports Park
Located in Carson, the South Bay Sports Park would take advantage of the existing StubHub Center athletic complex, which contains a main stadium, a velodrome and tennis center. The Stadium would host rugby during week one, and the modern pentathlon in the second week.
Long Beach Sports Park
The Long Beach Sports Park would contain a mix of existing and temporary venues, including two large-scale facilities for water polo and BMX that could be disassembled and repurposed at the conclusion of the their use. Water-based events, such as open-water swimming and triathlon would be held along the waterfront, while sailing would take place at the Belmont Pier. The Long Beach Convention Center and Arena would serve as a warmup facility and as a venue for handball matches.
The Opening Ceremonies would be held at the new LA Stadium at Hollywood Park (slated to open in 2019). The surrounding entertainment complex would provide visitor amenities as well as host archery events. The Olympic Village would be located within dormitory buildings at UCLA.
Learn more and see the full plans for LA 2024, here.
We’ve all heard of the record-breaking times, longest distances and of course, winners of those coveted medals, but according to 99% Invisible there is a lesser-known Olympic Games honor participants have received: awards in architecture. In an article tracing the history of this bizarre tradition, Kurt Kohlstedt explores how medals were awarded to five categories of the arts during the Olympic Games, presented to participants alongside their sporting competitors.
An initiative initially proposed in 1906 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) under Pierre de Coubertin, the arts competitions sought to reclaim the former glory of the ancient Games, which themselves recognized singing and music. Coubertin’s modern iteration included five categories of the arts: architecture, literature, music, painting and sculpture.
For architecture, entries included conceptual and built projects ranging from stadiums to ski jumps, all to be original athletics-inspired work submitted by amateurs, as was the case with the other categories. First featuring in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, the awards were discontinued after the London Games of 1948.
A competition for the transformation of a former cemetery in Nikea, just west of central Athens, has been won by Greek firm Topio7, with a proposal that creates a revitalized public park as a result of “a mutual osmosis between the park and the city”. A number of green buffer zones – “the elastic limit” – are utilized to frame a procession-like journey from the bustle of the city to the calm of the park’slandscape.
Highlighting the importance of the site’s previous use, the architects explain that the “main objective of the project is the creation of an open, accessible public space, a contemporary urban park with ecological-bioclimatic character, with special emphasis on the social dimension and the site’s memory.”
Previously inaccessible to the public, the renewed site is based on a series of circular zones, connecting the promenade and plazas on the perimeter to the heart of the park. Here, a clearing provides rest areas and recreation spots, as well as an embedded restaurant featuring a corten steel façade, which offers views of a meadow from its accessible rooftop.
Following the same linear axes as the original cemetery, the park’s primary promenades are composed of cobblestone and green joints, overgrown with wildflowers. Landscaped zones are central to the project’s design, and include a Church plaza, embedded amphitheater, Mediterranean gardens, fruit tree clearings and a wetland. Fauna such as cypress and water jets have been preserved, complimenting new plantings that combine to create a filter of vegetation.
The elastic green buffer zones offer new uses for the space, as a continuous connection with the urban fabric. Sports courts, playgrounds, outdoor gyms, picnic areas, a mountain bike track and a small farm are potential programs that could be implemented, in addition to lightweight wooden kiosks for information services and outdoor bazaars.
A walking, jogging and cycling track snakes its way between the green zones, allowing users to experience the diverse areas of the park at different paces.
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With virtual reality technology becoming a more and more common tool in architecture offices, engineers have already begun thinking about the next wave of advancements that could add even more functionality into their products. One of these advancements is through the use of one of the information age’s biggest revolutions: analysis of user feedback.
Lauching today, 3D visualization company InsiteVR has implemented these features into their software for the first time – allowing architects to learn about how people are viewing their models in real time.
With Analytics, InsiteVR walkthroughs can be replayed with an overlaid heatmap, which provides data on the distribution of users’ attention while travelling through the virtual space. Avatars representing each user can be followed through the space, giving you the ability to track and analyze where someone may have been standing when they paused to look at a particular feature, or how the strayed from the intended circulation path.
One example InsiteVR uses is that of a basketball arena: what is the visibility from a particular seat of the stadium, and how can the architecture be used to enhance that particular viewer’s experience?
InstiteVR suggests that the software could be used to improve wayfinding strategies for large buildings such as hospitals, airports and other public spaces. The effectiveness of signs can be accurately measured by how long it takes viewers to find them, and how often they are lead to their intended destination.
Learn more about Analytics, and how it works, here.
Steven Holl Architects has released updates on four of its latest projects slated for completion this year. The projects, located in the United States and the United Kingdom, include two university arts buildings, a community library, and a cancer support center.
We are very excited about the intensity of the architecture for an unprecedented four Steven Holl Architects’ projects opening in 2017, said Steven Holl. Each ones serves as an inspiring ‘social condenser’ for their community.
Built in 21 million-year-old Lecce stone blocks set against the concrete structure, the Lewis Center for the Arts shapes an amazing new campus quadrangle with the same spatial proportions as The Campidoglio in Rome. It will present transparent connections to all the performing arts facilities, shaping the space and offer a large Forum dappled by sunlight thru water. The building will be celebrated during an arts fair among all LCA disciplines the weekend of October 5-8.
Institute for Contemporary Art – Virginia Commonwealth University
The building is slated to open with its inaugural exhibition “Declarations” on October 28th. Soon Richmond and VCU will have a publicly accessible gateway through the Arts at the intersection of Broad and Belvidere.
Hunters Point Community Library
Set to open this Fall, the Hunters Point Community Library will have sweeping views of the city, a public rooftop cafe and serve as a new “social consensus” for the community.
Maggies Centre Barts
London’s Historic West Smithfield will soon have a calming collective support space for cancer patients, survivors and their families and friends. The concrete frame of Maggies Centre Barts is complete and the roof slab and concrete stairs will be cast in the next few weeks. A topping out ceremony will be held on the 17th of May and the building is set for substantial completion December 5th.
With yesterday’s grand opening ceremony in the books, Times Square’s 8-year-long transformation has been pronounced officially complete.
Led by Snøhetta, the project saw the United States’ most visited destination change from a congested, horn-honking vehicular area into a world-class public plaza with the addition of over 100,000 square feet of pedestrian-exclusive space.
“Conceived as a project whose success would be measured not only by its new aesthetic but also the long-term physical, psychological and economic benefits on its community, the reinvention of Times Square stands as a model for how the design of our urban landscapes can improve health and well-being of its users while providing an important stage for public gathering,” said Craig Dykers, Architect and Founding Partner of Snøhetta.
Snøhetta’s design reimagined the stretch of Broadway from 42nd to 47th streets, replacing the existing streets with a continuous hardscape connecting building front to building front. New seating options, including ten 50-foot long granite benches, allow pedestrians to occupy the space at a relaxed pace, as opposed to the aneurysm-inducing shuffle that visitors were subjected to for decades.
Located at the heart of the Times Square Theater District, the bowtie-shaped site has already seen a significant impact in public safety, economic output, and user experience since the closing of Broadway in 2009 and the implementation of the first phase of the Snøhetta-designed plan in 2014. According to the architects, since that time, pedestrian injuries have dropped by 40%, vehicular accidents have been reduced by 15%, and overall crime in the area has decreased 20%. Meanwhile, visitor health has improved, with air pollution rates falling as much as 60% due to the removal of vehicles.
Snøhetta’s scheme begins first and foremost with the movement of people through the site – on average, 330,00 people move through Times Square each day. These numbers include both tourists and travellers coming from the nearby Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Penn and Grand Central Train Stations. Reacting to these figures, the plan was designed to accommodate multiple speeds of pedestrian circulation, using what the architect’s call “subtle design gestures” to empower people to move in a natural, comfortable way through the space.
Within the square, new spaces have been created to reference both the area’s history and its symbolic location within the city.
“Snøhetta’s design is inspired by Times Square’s past and its rich entertainment history – a duality that influenced both the larger concept and the project’s details,” explain the architects. “Times Square’s signature buildings and spectacular signs – the glowing walls of the Bowtie – create an outdoor room right in the heart of Manhattan. Snøhetta’s design creates uncluttered pedestrian zones and a cohesive surface that reinforces the Bowtie’s role as an outdoor stage.
“This clear and simple ground surface made of pre-cast concrete pavers creates a strong anchor for the space, allowing the excitement of Times Square’s commercial components to shine more brightly above. The area’s new two-toned custom pavers are embedded with nickel-sized steel discs that capture the neon glow from the signs above and playfully scatter it across the paving surface, referencing marquee lights and Times Square’s theater history.”
The recent changes have already been embraced by visitors and locals alike – surveys have found that 93% of visitors believe that the pedestrian plaza makes Times Square a more pleasant place to be, while 88% of New York residents agree that the plaza gives Times Square a unique atmosphere that was not there before.
Check out some of the before and after shots of the transformation below:
These may well be the ultimate, true romantic architects, said Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President of The Chicago Athenaeum. Form4 Architecture’s design philosophy conveys a ‘vision of the future’ and all the artistic possibilities of imagination, emotional meaning, and lyrical expressionism for a consequentially better and more enlightened world around us.
As an architecture, interiors, and planning firm, Form4 specializes in “creating enticing environments for tech offices, museums, mixed-use developments, educational institutions, memorials, and places of worship, that respond as equally to energy efficiency, site topography, and user experience.”
The Prize specifically honors Form4 Architecture’s principals, Robert J. Giannini, John Marx, AIA, Pail Ferro, AIA, and James Tefend.
We believe in work that is artful and dynamic while respectful of its parameters, said Marx. To that end, we are able to create architecture that is poetic and memorable without sacrificing function.
Over the past few years, the firm has garnered over 80 accolades and 116 awards. The official presentation of the American Prize for Architecture will take place at the Orlando Museum of Art on April 27.
An exhibition honoring Form4 Architecture will open at Contemporary Space Athens in July 2017 and is scheduled to travel through Europe and the United States in 2017 and 2018.
Google Earth is no longer a clunky, data-intensive desktop or mobile application. As of today, one of the tech-giant’s flagship (and unrivalled) products has been relaunched as a widely accessible web application for Google Chrome. This means that anyone can now access the full Google Earth product, free of charge, without having to install software or download mobile applications.
Search within Google Earth has been dramatically enhanced, “Knowledge Cards” give you snapshots of information and places and cities as you navigate, “Voyager” will take you on “adventures” (interactive guided tours), and the familiar search option of “I’m Feeling Lucky” has finally been brought to the platform. In addition, there is now the ability to orbit the entire globe in “3D” as opposed to isolated urban conurbations.
Tour “Frank Gehry’s Buildings” and “Architecture by Zaha Hadid”