BBS Architects Engineers

Iowa State University

VRAC C6 and Office Suite
VRAC C6 and Office Suite
VRAC C6 and Office Suite
VRAC C6 and Office Suite

Construction Completed: January 2000

The Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) C6 Installation is a fully immersive synthetic environment and is capable of a six-sided rear-projection display (completing the cube). Real and virtual objects are blended in the same space so that several individuals have an unoccluded view of their bodies as they interact with virtual objects. This installation is a focal piece for Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. The C6 is located in the center of an open atrium in Howe Hall. The design and construction process considers unique and progressive opportunities to advance the quality of service and design for the C6 Installation.

The VRAC office suite comprises 21,000 net square feet in Howe Hall. This project consists of faculty offices, conferencing, interaction spaces, computer labs, and an electronic/ mechanical fabrication shop for the state-of-the-art, nationally recognized computer imaging department. This user group desired a design capable of accentuating their very public image. The office layout needed to not only promote the technology sophistication of a regularly toured, public, state-of-the-art computer department, but also to encourage a traditional faculty/student university department to comfortably work and interact.

“Immersion” was chosen as the key word for the user group. It was critical to this group that the facility would enable students and visitors to gain insight into the complexities of computer image generation. The original design concept for Howe Hall focused on the forms of fluid dynamics. Interpreting the exterior fluidity into the interior immersion vision helped to form the basis of the interior layout.

Focusing on a duality of public presentation and educational/ research requirements, the layout solution comprises 4 “zones” of immersion: presentation, observation, interaction, and finally entering into the world’s most advanced fully immersive, virtual reality computer projections rooms.

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