Project Description

chick-fil-a_logo1

Virtual Reality Architectural Walkthrough

THE CHALLENGE

Chick-fil-A needed a way to experience their restaurants before construction started. Computer renderings and two-dimensional plans do not always reveal all the design issues that architects face. For example, it’s extremely difficult to get a perspective view of a location and see how divider heights affect traffic in a location. It’s also hard to see how lighting impacts the location as a viewer moves through the space. This can be solved using full-scale models, however these are extremely expensive and time consuming to create.

  • No Perspective
    While things look good on paper, they might not always function as you would like in practice. Often times the first time a construction project is experienced is as it is being built. This results in changes having to be made during construction which is extremely expensive. Additionally, it’s incredibly difficult to get a true sense of height and how this will impact a guest’s experience.
  • Expensive Physical Models
    The way to solve this is to create physical mockups of the location before construction. This is expensive, and time consuming. Once these models are created changes to the layout will have to be ‘rebuilt’ before they can be re-viewed. Also, they only cover a portion of the proposed construction making it difficult to get a real feel for the space.

THE SOLUTION

EON Reality’s partner Blue Marble 3D created a Virtual Reality version of a Chick-fil-A restaurant to improve the design process. By importing the 3D design data for the restaurant and using EON Reality’s Software platform, Blue Marble 3D was able to create a perspectively rendered Virtual Reality simulation that let Chick-fil-A see the restaurant as if they were actually in the building. By using the four-walled EON Icube Mobile, viewers could look under counters, get a feel for the equipment layout in the kitchen, and examine sightlines all before a single hammer had been raised. This Virtual Reality simulation was also a fraction of the cost of a full-scale “model” and helped resolve design issues before construction started.

Virtual Reality Architectural restaurant

Change Finishes

Viewers of the Virtual Reality simulation can examine the different possible finishes and how they will impact the visitor experience by a simple keystroke. This enables the architect to get feedback on how the finish choices fit together in the actual restaurant and in a whole variety of lighting situations.

VR Walk Through

The most powerful part of the VR simulation is the ability to “walk-through” the restaurant before it’s built. This is done through the EON Software Platform and the EON Icube Mobile. Vicon cameras track the user’s head position and renders the scene accordingly. This enables the user to examine sightlines and equipment positions as if they were there. Working spaces can be readjusted to an optimal arrangement based on viewing and feedback from the VR simulation.

Virtual Reality Architectural facade
Virtual Reality Architectural seating
Virtual Reality Architectural cashiers
Virtual Reality Architectural open area

THE RESULTS

Blue Marble designed a virtual restaurant interior with three different layouts for Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A. The client was able to evaluate each design option as if they were standing in an actual restaurant.

They just loved it…We kept going back and forth with colors and materials. They didn’t have a full-size mockup, so they relied heavily on the model in EON’s software.

The team also created a virtual experience of a proposed kitchen for Chick-fil-A that showed how the space would look with windows and different exhaust-hood configurations. It helped them get a feel for the space

George Matos, Blue Marble 3D