For the first time in South Australia, tenants have a new way to experience a new retail space long before it has been completed – through Virtual Reality technology.

The developers of Rundle Mall plaza, the Wienert Group, are trialling the use of VR to attract tenants to the updated shopping precinct long before the project is finished.

The brainchild of project senior architect Yaara Plaves of Hames Sharley, and Wienert Group’s Evan Brumby, the VR experience will enable tenants to visualise the retail and dining spaces in a ‘tour’ of the retail centre.

The understanding they will gain through this experience is how the people and spaces interact with each other, and importantly, how light and shade contribute to the design. This is impossible to portray via two dimensional renders of developments traditionally used by project designers.

“VR enables us to experience how light and shade will relate to each other within the space. This is a crucial design factor, particularly in the dining precinct to be built on Level 1,” says Yaara.

“By also using VR during the design phase, we have been able to refine key design elements. VR has become increasingly important in the building and development industry, and this will be the first opportunity in Adelaide for potential tenants to use it, which is an exciting development.”

The VR technology enables the potential tenant to ‘walk through’ the space, to look around from various vantage points, and feel as though they are there in person. They can zoom in on particular features and pan around 360 degrees to feel the space. This game-like experience is a far cry from interpreting two dimensional drawings, something even the most imaginative of us has trouble doing.

Importantly, tenants can be anywhere in the world to have the experience, a key benefit for retail developers who want to attract interstate and international retailers to their shopping centre.

In addition to the new dining precinct, Rundle Mall Plaza will be home to South Australia’s first H&M store. Other upgrades include updated internal finishes in all public areas, a tech hub on the Lower Ground floor, a health and wellbeing precinct on Level 2, disabled access from the office lobby to the retail area, and a re-opening of the link-bridges to the Myer building on Levels 1 and 2. Originally commissioned in the early 1960 as a David Jones store, these latest changes bring the building into the 21st century.

The upgraded plaza will open in late 2018 and you can view a fly through video by clicking here.

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