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Hunters South Architects move into virtual reality

Architects use virtual reality-capable imagery for Woking school

Posted by Stephanie Broad | September 20, 2015 | Technology

Hunters South Architects have been creating virtual reality-capable imagery for their latest projects, which places clients directly into their future built environments via a completely immersive 3600 degree VR app, and the Google Cardboard Viewer, giving them the ability to have a first-hand view of how key spaces will look once constructed. This can be downloaded to an iPad for more public viewing. 

Schools can now see first-hand, how spaces, lighting and finishes may work in their finished product. 

The Hoe Valley School project in Woking comprises the provision of Hoe Valley School, a new 840-place secondary school and sixth form, a new leisure centre and associated external sports facilities.  

Lynne O’Reilly, Chair of Governors at Hoe Valley School, said: “At Hoe Valley School we are embedding technology in all we do to provide a true 21st century learning experience to our students, and we are pleased to be working with a partner who shares our ethos of innovation. The Virtual Reality has really brought the building to life for us, enabling us to enhance our design, and has been a valuable tool in generating excitement and buy-in from the wider team. We plan to use it in our marketing to enable parents and students to share the experience of being inside in the new building.” 

Woking Borough Council’s Strategic Asset Manager, Ian Tomes, said: “The Council is always looking at innovative ways technology can support and improve the things we do, so we are very enthusiastic about the use of virtual reality imagery that will enable our Councillors to better understand future planning proposals and how they would benefit the wider community.” 

With the continued development of the National BIM Library and BIM Store, spaces can be populated with parametric models and materials which further enhance the potential of virtual reality. 

The school includes state-of-the-art teaching facilities and a large open plan school 'heart space' including dining, main hall and LRC stacked over three storeys linked via a central void, allowing natural light to spill throughout the school via a large roof light.

The leisure centre includes a five court sports hall, dance studios and an 80-workstation gym/fitness suite and changing facilities. Also included is an eight-lane athletics track with covered stadium seating built into the main leisure centre, grass football pitches, all weather five-a-side football pitches and multi-use games areas.


The project is being undertaken to BIM Level 2 requirements with the use of Autodesk Revit and Navisworks for clash detection.

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