IBM Corporate Headquarters in Virtual Reality

IBM Corporate Headquarters Virtual Reality Walk-Through; SimpleTwig Rendering

360 Degree “Virtual Reality” Scenes. Virtual Reality allows an observer to: 1) digitally move into a space, 2) turn around 360 degrees, and, 3) to click on hot spots to move into other spaces sequentially.

The following are 2D still images taken from Virtual Reality ‘bubble’ illustrations for IBM’s new corporate headquarters.
Note: the resolution of the following images has been reduced to 1/10 of the original in order to make them web accessible.

IBM Corporate Headquarters Virtual Reality Walk-Through; SimpleTwig Rendering

The original set of illustrations consisted of 7 sequentially placed nodes within the interior of IBM’s new Corporate Headquarters in Armonk, NY. Each node was a ‘bubble’ photo or VR image in which, using a computer, one can turn around 360 degrees to see the entire room. Each node was linked via ‘hot spots’ to other nodes to allow an observer to ‘walk through’ the buildings’ main spaces as well as typical spaces. The sequence was set up as follows: first node, the building lobby; second node, the technology corridor; from the technology corridor one could link to the third node, the stair tower; then the fourth node, the cafeteria or the fifth node, the fitness center; or, from the technology corridor, one could link to the sixth node, the typical office floor and then to the seventh node, the typical conference room.

IBM Corporate Headquarters Virtual Reality Walk-Through; SimpleTwig Rendering

How VR Technology works: Each node consisted of six seperate illustrations which would cover the inside of a cube. Each seperate ‘view’ is a perspective looking away from one point in space 90 degrees from its adjacent view. Four views form the sides of the VR image while the last two view are the ceiling and floor. Each view must be a perfect square and must align perfectly with the adjacent square. While distortion appears at the edges of a square when looking at its 2D representation, this distortion disappears when the square is placed in a cube and viewed from the spherical center of the cube. If one looks closely at the following examples, one should notice the distortion at the edges of two intersecting squares.
Project/Status: IBM Corporate Headquarters, Armonk, NY. Built.
Description: See Below.
Architect: Swanke Hayden Connell Architects & Interiors, NYC with Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.
Info: 6 Virtual Reality Nodes. September 1996.

7 Replies to “IBM Corporate Headquarters in Virtual Reality”

    1. at the time the ibm application they were using was under development and top secret so I wouldn’t and didn’t have access to it, just the final stitched together VR scene along with their application for use. I gave them the six scenes and they did the stitching. If it is open source it would be relatively easy to find via google.

    1. I used the VR technology IBM was developing at the time which stitched together 6 images for each scene. This was a pre-release version of their software I think in response to Apple’s Quicktime VR software. I also used ArchiCAD and Photoshop to create the images. That was a bit of a challenge too as it is impossible to create a perspective view looking directly up and down from a specific point in space. As you can imagine most perspectives are looking somewhere horizontally but not like that. Thanks again rezachandra.

  1. rezachandra :

    wow….virtual reality makes an easy life especially for marketing department

    Thanks rezachandra for your comment. Yes VR is really great. I do have great movie of this as well but haven’t been able to upload it to wordpress. Thanks for reminding me about this project, I’ll try to get the video uploaded to YouTube (simpletwig) today. It’s rather long but I think worth the watch. Regards, Nick.

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