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Experience Your Office Before It’s Built

Visualization has always been a vital tool in the architectural profession, from the earliest drawings of greats like Vitruvius and Palladio that established conventions still used today. Though these images are still compelling, new technology is opening up more opportunities for visualization that were once the subject of science fiction.

Virtual reality and real time rendering have become commonplace and reasonably accessible. With new architectural software, clients can quickly see the spaces we design and start to see how they feel much earlier in a project. The ability to instantaneously experience a digital model with a client is quickly becoming not only common but expected.


At PDR we take advantage of this technology with the use of real-time rendering and virtual reality software. We utilize Enscape, but there are a number of excellent tools available on the market. These applications have quickly become indispensable, allowing us to quickly produce renderings with ease unlike traditional rendering techniques. Beyond its value as an excellent rendering tool, it allows you to jump directly into the model and see everything in real time, whether on screen or via virtual reality headset.

This is important for two reasons. With digital modeling requiring unprecedented levels of complexity, clients and contractors increasingly request access to BIM models for their wealth of resources in managing and evaluating building construction and performance. Architects and designers must be able to see details and intersections within the model to ensure that everything works and the software lets you see these things up close, quickly. Problems with materials, objects, and lighting, for instance, become instantly apparent and make correcting the design much faster, allowing us to provide a more robust and developed model to our project team.

Secondly, project presentations are leaps and bounds beyond what is possible in a still image rendering. By allowing us to truly immerse the client in their future space, we can communicate our ideas much more clearly to the rest of a team that may not have spent hours upon hours inside the model. When the entire team can experience the space and understand the design direction, it becomes much easier to explain the benefits of the design we are creating for our clients. We can show them how the space feels and works in real time.

With better feedback early in the design process, the team can respond more to experiential factors rather than concern themselves with small drawing details still in development. Since clients may not look at 2D architectural plans and construct them in their minds the way architects and designers have been trained to do, these tools keep the entire team on the same page with the same understanding and create a more collaborative design process, centered around what PDR is all about: The human experience.


Tyler Westry

Tyler is an architectural designer at PDR that specializes in visualization and rendering. His background at the University of Houston includes several projects that explored this cutting-edge technology. He focuses on creating compelling spaces that consider the input of the entire team to create a more holistic design that turns problems into opportunity.

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