vr in architecture masterplanning middle east

How will VR change the way we masterplan future Middle East cities?


Virtual reality (VR) is becoming a standard amongst many savvy architects. Globally, we are using VR and augmented reality (AR) to build models of buildings and real estate to pitch and sell the ideas in a more visual way. But could we use the technology for more than visuals? In this article, Archisys Global is looking at the science we could be using to design, interpret and masterplan our sustainable, smart cities of the future.   

Commonly known for its success in the gaming world, virtual reality is increasingly being used to re-invigorate various industries such as aerospace, healthcare, education and now, urban planning. As populations continue to rise, placing an increased strain on our public services, cities become smarter and more complicated. VR serves as a knight in shining armour for urban planners to help visualise prospective projects and their impacts on infrastructure and the environment.

wembley masterplan architecture   
Renders of Wembley Masterplan, London by masterplanning partners Flanagan Lawrence

Sustainable planning

Using VR as part of the design process allows architects and engineers to understand how are cities are powered. By building the city on a computer first, we reduce the waste created by a standard building development in real life. Exact amounts of materials, human resources and budgets can be calculated prior to breaking ground. This means the project will be more commercially-valuable, and cost less for the developer to build overall.

Virtual reality can also help us ‘fast forward’ the clock and look into the future. We can observe how masterplans will grow and change over time, to accommodate the changing patterns of human lives. Planning for a future puts our economies and communities in safer positions.


Speed up the construction process

Cities take centuries to grow. However, with the use of modern technology the Middle East has observed huge developments in urban architecture in the last 30 years. Whilst other global cities struggle with over-crowding, out of date layouts and a lack of innovation, the Middle East excels in getting it right first time around.

By using VR, designers can, literally, see the bigger picture. Planning cities beyond its current needs and boundaries help prepare for a future of prosperity. Different regions of a city will interlock seamlessly, and can be constructed over a matter of years, rather than decades. Especially in areas of high urban migration, designs who use VR will better connect new parts of a city to the original communities. This will create better cultural stability for the city’s inhabitants.


Combining Visual Reality with Artificial Intelligence in Architecture

Archisys Global has previously written about the ways AI could change the way we design and maintain buildings. By combining the two technologies, we access a higher level of understanding about our buildings. The technologies provide the power to see into the future. By running simulations under VR and AI, designers can plan for better infrastructure, transport, maintenance and other building efficiencies. We can watch buildings grow and work in real time. We access better research on how the end-users will react to designs.

Putting these two technologies together is currently expensive and difficult to access, but within the next decade, it could become a common commodity for architects, engineers and developers.

It could only be a few years before architects access VR and AI simultaneously


Like us, you may be driven by the hope of an innovative and prosperous future for the Middle East. Archisys Global continues to bring global technology and research to all of our architectural designs in the Middle East. Find out more about how we can drive the future of innovation to your developments and designs by getting in contact with us today.


Best wishes,

Archisys Global

Archisys Global Ltd is a centre of excellence in architecture for the Middle East and GCC market that combines local knowledge with global architectural expertise. We deliver a world-class service, efficient, sustainable and technologically advanced design solutions. By working across six key sectors: leisure and entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, education, master planning and mixed-use, we can create better buildings and places, a sustainable environment and a better tomorrow.

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