Interactive Architectural Showroom Model

Architectural 3D visualization using projection mapping

The traditional way for building developers to show a new architectural build or renovation project is to have a scale model produced for their showroom. For the conversion of The Abbotsford News building in BC, Elevate wanted to have a level of interactivity built into the display, specifically by using projection mapping techniques.  We designed and produced a full 360º projection-mapped solution for the permanent installation.

Techniques Used: Interactive Installation, Projection Mapping
Client: Elevate Architecture 


The first challenge was to determine how large the model needed to be to show enough detail and still be cost-effective and accurate. Secondly, we needed to establish how large the display needed to be to house the model and the projection technology.

Through lens calculation and material cost calculations, the resulting design was a display with an 8ft square base – to accommodate the 6ft long x 4ft wide x 16″ high CNC cut styrofoam model, with a corner supported 10ft square header to house the projectors and media playback tech in place.

5x strategically placed Optoma UST projectors were locked in place to cover all 11 unique surfaces, receiving media from a single Mac Pro tower. We custom-programmed the display to auto-turn on and off each day and auto-boot the media playback loops.

We also created a custom iPad app to interact with the media playback system using OSC commands to trigger the different sets of video loops. The iPad also allowed the sales staff to demonstrate to guests where each type of apartment was located in the building. 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom layouts would highlight different colours to show their locations through augmented projection-mapped highlighting. Once located on the model, further floor plans and detailing could also be viewed on the iPad.

More than 120 unique renders were created for the projection content package to cover all the surfaces. These included a night-daytime time-lapse, complete with realistic lighting and shadowing, apartment lights coming on and turning off with people walking around in the apartments in the evening, apartment types and location highlight loops were also included.