SlotLab – Ron van den Ouweland
Time travelling in heritage is getting closer and closer with Virtual Reality
Ron van den Ouweland designs scenarios in Virtual Reality (VR) to experience monuments and as it were to travel back in time. On behalf of SlotLab, he built a VR model of the South Limburg Castle Schaesberg on the basis of historical drawings. He chose a glassy appearance that, as it were, depicts the spirit of the building. There are four separate partial designs hidden in it: of the lost fireplaces, the hood of the gate tower, the slate roof covering and the lighting.
Visitors will soon be able to take a trip through the 3D model that starts on the square of the castle farm. The gaze is focused on the gate tower which shows the designs of Werkstatt (wood construction) and Daria Biryukova (slate roofing). Van den Ouweland: “You can click on photos, videos and 360-degree animations. Once you’re at the top of the gate tower, the visual power of VR helps you to experience the intended wow effect of the design.”
The research of all four designers in the Slotlab project focuses on circularity and reducing the impact on the environment. The VR model contains a deepening layer of information about the raw materials, production processes and crafts with which they have started working. In 2021 visitors to Slot Schaesberg can experience the virtual tour on site with special VR glasses. But those who are already curious will soon be able to browse the virtual world of Van den Ouweland on their own screen.
Van den Ouweland is convinced that there is still much to discover in the heritage sector, especially aimed at future generations: “Heritage is increasingly digitally captured, if you revive it, make it interactive and continue building on it, then it becomes really exciting. Certainly when you’re using luxury headsets that offer increasingly sharper images. These will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the experience and makes it really feel like time travelling.”
This is the last article in a series of six articles on the SlotLab, an initiative of Simone de Waart (Material Sense), Aryan Klein (Slot Schaesberg) and Machiel Spaan (M3H architects) in the context of the Internationale Bau Ausstellung (IBA) Parkstad.