Integrating Virtual Reality to the Landscape Design Process â€“ case study: a development plan for Merisatama islands
Aalto University Department of Architecture: Landscape Architecture
Eeva-Maija Ekman 2019
Integrating Virtual Reality to the Landscape Design Process â€“
case study: a development plan for Merisatama islands
Aalto-yliopisto, PL 11000, 00076 AALTO www.aalto.fi
Aalto-yliopisto, PL 11000, 00076 AALTO www.aalto.fi
Maisema-arkkitehdin diplomityön tiivistelmä
Maisema-arkkitehdin diplomityön tiivistelmä
Tiivistelmä Tekijä Eeva-Maija Ekman Suomen maisema-arkkitehdit käyttävät suunnittelussa 3D-mallintamista arkkitehteihin verrattuna Tekijä Eeva-Maija Ekman Tekijä Eeva-Maija Ekman suhteellisen vähän. Uusia mahdollisuuksia kolmiulotteiseen suunnitteluun tuovat viime vuosina Työn nimi Työn nimi Työn nimi Työn nimi Työn nimi kuluttaja-markkinoille saapuneet virtuaalitodellisuuslaitteistot, joiden käyttöönottoon 3D-mallintamisen Integrating Virtual Reality to the Landscape Design Process hallitsevilla arkkitehdeillä on paremmat edellytykset. Saman mallinnusteknisen tason saavuttaminen ja Laitos Arkkitehtuurin laitos Laitos Arkkitehtuurin laitos – case study: a development plan for Merisatama islands eri suunnittelijaosapuolten välillä sujuvoittaisi yhteistyötä yhteisissä projekteissa. MAR-E10 Professuuri Maiseman suunnittelu ja rakentaminenProfessuuriylläpito Maiseman Professuurikoodi suunnittelu ja MAR-E10 rakentaminen Professuurikoodi Laitos Arkkitehtuurin laitos Tällä Työn valvoja Pia Fricker Työn valvoja Piahetkellä Frickervirtuaalitodellisuutta (VR) käytetään enimmäkseen esitystapana, mutta sitä voisi Professuuri Maiseman suunnittelu ja rakentaminen hyödyntää myös suunnitteluprosessissa. Suurimpina esteinä ovat kysynnän puute ja puutteellinen Työn ohjaaja(t) Lauri Lemmenlehti Työn ohjaaja(t) Lauri Lemmenlehti tietotaito hyödyntämistavoista. Vähäinen kysyntä ei ole este VR:n integroimiselle osaksi Professuurikoodi MAR-E10 Kuvaplanssit (kpl) 0 Pienoismallit Kuvaplanssit (kpl) (kpl) 0 0 Pienoismallit (kpl) 0 suunnitteluprosessia, jos sen hyödyntäminen on resurssitehokasta, uudet työtavat suhteellisen helppoja Työn valvoja Pia Fricker Vuosi 2019 Sivumäärä (selostus + liitteet) xxx Vuosi 2019omaksuaSivumäärä (selostus Kieli Englanti + liitteet) xxxvastaan. Kieli Englanti ja se antaa etulyöntiaseman kilpailijoita Työn ohjaaja(t) Lauri Lemmenlehti and Mikko Vekkeli Tämä opinnäytetyö tutkii, miten VR voi tuoda lisäarvoa maisemasuunnitteluprosessiin erityisesti Tiivistelmä (kpl) 1 Tiivistelmä maisema-arkkitehdin näkökulmasta. Aihetta lähestytään olemassa olevien suunnitteluohjelmien Kuvaplanssit pienoismallit (kpl) 0 Kun maisema-arkkitehdit vasta opettelevat 3D-mallintamista, Kun maisema-arkkitehdit arkkitehdit käyttävät vastajoopettelevat sujuvasti sekä 3D-mallintamista, arkkitehditKatsauksen käyttävät perusteella jo sujuvasti sekä esittelyllä ja katsauksella erilaisiin näkemyksiin suunnitteluprosessista. valitaan Vuosi 2019 3D-mallintamista että tietomallintamista osana työskentelyään, 3D-mallintamista jametodologia, alan että eturintamaan tietomallintamista on saapunut työskentelyään, ja alantutkivassa eturintamaan on saapunut jota käytetään VR:n osana mahdollisuuksia kvalitatiivisesti esimerkkitapauksessa. Sivumäärä (selostus + liitteet) 110 virtuaalitodellisuuden hyödyntäminen. Voidakseen jatkossakin virtuaalitodellisuuden toimia yhteistyössä hyödyntäminen. arkkitehtien Voidakseen ja jatkossakin toimia yhteistyössä arkkitehtien ja laaditaan Merisataman saarille konseptitasoinen suunnitelma, joka mallinnetaan muiden alan osaajien kanssa, maisema-arkkitehtien tulisi muiden pyrkiä alanEsimerkkitapauksessa pysymään osaajien kanssa, mukanamaisema-arkkitehtien kehityksessä ja tulisi pyrkiä pysymään mukana kehityksessä ja Kieli Englanti yleisellätasolla. tasolla VR:ää apuna käyttäen. Tarkempaan suunnitteluun valitaan konseptin kannalta teknisesti samalla tasolla. teknisesti samalla merkityksellinen kohta, jota hyödyntäen tutkitaan, miten VR:n avulla voi käsitellä sellaisia ominaiTällä hetkellä virtuaalitodellisuutta käytetään enimmäkseen Tällä hetkellä esitystapana, virtuaalitodellisuutta mutta sitä voisikäytetään hyödyntää enimmäkseen esitystapana, mutta sitä voisi hyödyntää suuksia,3D-mallintamisen joita on vaikea tulkita perinteisistä tasopiirustuksista, kuten 3D-mallintamisen tilan tuntu, näkymät javiemä tunnelma. myös suunnitteluprosessissa. Suurimpina esteinä ovat myös tilauksen suunnitteluprosessissa. puute, Suurimpina viemä esteinä ovat tilauksen puute,
aika sekä vajavaiset tietotaidot. Ulkoinen paine ei oleaika tarpeellista, sekä vajavaiset jos suunnittelijat tietotaidot. kokevat Ulkoinen paine ei ole tarpeellista, joskonkreettisten suunnittelijat kokevat Esimerkkitapaus osoittaa, että VR:ää voi tällä hetkellä hyödyntää aiheiden suunnitteluun, virtuaalitodellisuuden antavan heille etulyöntiaseman; virtuaalitodellisuuden sekä uusien työtapojen antavan omaksumisen heille etulyöntiaseman; sekä uusien työtapojen omaksumisen mutta tutkimus ja konseptointi täytyy yhä tehdä perinteisin keinoin. Myös kohteen ominaisuudet ja helpoksi ja niiden käyttämisen resurssitehokkaaksi. helpoksi ja niiden käyttämisen resurssitehokkaaksi. suunnittelun tavoitteet vaikuttavat VR:n käyttökelpoisuuteen. Tämä opinnäytetyö tutkii, mitä lisäarvoa virtuaalitodellisuus Tämä opinnäytetyö voi tuoda maisema-arkkitehdin tutkii, mitä lisäarvoa virtuaalitodellisuus voi tuoda maisema-arkkitehdin VR:n hyödyntäminen ei ole vielä – VR-laitteisto mahdollistaa suunnitelman kolmiulotteisen suunnitteluprosessiin. Aihetta lähestytään ensin olevien suunnitteluprosessiin. suunnitteluohjelmien Aihetta esittelyllä lähestytään ja mutkatonta ensin olevien suunnitteluohjelmien esittelyllä ja kokemisen, mutta ei vielä sen muokkaamista riittävän tarkasti. Jotta VR voi tuoda lisäarvoa kirjallisuuskatsauksella erilaisiin näkemyksiin suunnitteluprosessista. kirjallisuuskatsauksella Seuraavaksi erilaisiin näkemyksiin suunnitteluprosessista. Seuraavaksi suunnitteluprosessiin, on suunnittelijan hallittava yleistä vaatimustasoa laajempi ohjelmistokattaus. virtuaalitodellisuuden mahdollisuuksia tutkitaan kvalitatiivisen virtuaalitodellisuuden esimerkkitapauksen mahdollisuuksia avulla. tutkitaan kvalitatiivisen esimerkkitapauksen avulla.
Esimerkkitapauksessa Merisataman saarille laaditaanEsimerkkitapauksessa kehittämissuunnitelma. Merisataman Ensin saarille laaditaan kehittämissuunnitelma. Ensinsen kohteeseen Näistä huolimatta VRkohteeseen osoittautui hyödylliseksi tutkiessa tilan sommittelua, yhteyksiä ja tutustutaan, syvennytään ja lopuksi kehitetään kokonaisvaltainen tutustutaan,ominaisuuksia, syvennytään visio valitun jasekä lopuksi kehitetään kokonaisvaltainen visio valitun valaistusta ja säätiloja osana tunnelmaa. VR auttaa hahmottamaan eri suunnittelumetodologian mukaisesti. Tälle visiolle annetaan suunnittelumetodologian yleistasoinen muoto mukaisesti. mallintamalla Tällejase visiolle mallintamalla se suunnitteluratkaisujen vaikutukset näyttää annetaan suunnitellunyleistasoinen lopputuloksenmuoto ennen kohteen rakentamista. virtuaalitodellisuutta apuna käyttäen. Analyysivaiheessa virtuaalitodellisuutta löydetty avainkohta apuna valitaan käyttäen. tarkempaan Analyysivaiheessa löydetty avainkohta valitaan tarkempaan Tulevaisuudessa VR tarjoaa vieläkinvirtuaalitodellisuuden enemmän hyödyntämismahdollisuuksia suunnitteluprosessille, suunnitteluun, ja sitä hyödyntäen esitellään virtuaalitodellisuuden suunnitteluun, tarjoamia ja sitä hyödyntäen esitellään tarjoamia Avainsanat virtuaalitodellisuus, maisemasuunnittelu, tutkimismahdollisuuksia tulkita perinteisistä tasopiirustuksista, joita kuten on tulkita perinteisistä tasopiirustuksista, kuten kun laitteet ja elementeille, ohjelmat kehittyvät, ja vaikea simulaatioiden avulla voidaan tutkia sellaisia maisemaan 3D-mallinnus, elementeille, pelimoottori joita on vaikeatutkimismahdollisuuksia tilan tuntu, näkymät ja tunnelma. tilan tuntu, näkymät tunnelma. joita toistaiseksi täytyy työstää kvalitatiivisin keinoin. vaikuttaviajaominaisuuksia, Esimerkkitapaus osoittaa, että virtuaalitodellisuutta voi Esimerkkitapaus tällä hetkellä hyödyntää osoittaa, että konkreettisten virtuaalitodellisuutta voi tällä hetkellä hyödyntää konkreettisten aiheiden suunnitteluun – tutkimus ja konseptointi täytyy aiheiden yhä tehdä suunnitteluun perinteisin – tutkimus metodein.jaKohteen konseptointi täytyy yhä tehdä perinteisin metodein. Kohteen
Aalto University, P.O. BOX 11000, 00076 AALTO www.aalto.fi M.Sc. Landscape Architecture thesis abstract
Aalto University, P.O. BOX 11000, 00076 AALTO www.aalto.fi M.Sc. Landscape Architecture thesis abstract
Abstract Author Eeva-Maija Ekman Finnish landscape Author Eeva-Maija Ekman Author Eeva-Maija Ekman architects use relatively little 3D modelling during design when compared to architects. The recent arrivals of virtual reality (VR) equipment to the consumer market have brought Title of thesis Title of thesis Title of thesis Title of thesis Title of thesis new possibilities for 3D design, which are easier assimilated by architects who have 3D modelling Integrating Virtual Reality to the Landscape Design Process Department Department of Architecture Department Department of Architecture knowledge. Attaining and maintaining the same level of technical modelling between design disciplines – case study: a development plan for Merisatama islands would make co-operating in joint projects more efficient. Professorship Professorship Professorship Code of Professorship professorship MAR-E10 Code of professorship MAR-E10 Department Department of Architecture Thesis supervisor Pia Fricker Thesis supervisor Currently Pia VR Fricker is used mostly as a presentational tool, but it has potential for enhancing the design Professorship Landscape design and construction process. Biggest obstacles in the integration of VR are the lack of requirement from clients and the Thesis advisor(s) Lauri Lemmenlehti Thesis advisor(s) Lauri Lemmenlehti insufficient knowledge of effective utilisation methods. External requirement for VR is not necessary, Code of professorship MAR-E10 Presentation board (pcs) 0 Models Presentation (pcs) 0 board (pcs) 0 Models (pcs) 0 if its usage is efficient, the new methods are relatively easy to assimilate, and it gives a competitive Thesis supervisor Pia Fricker Year 2019 Number of pages (report + annexes) Year xxx 2019 edge.Number Language of pagesEnglish (report + annexes) xxx Language English Thesis advisor(s) Lauri Lemmenlehti and Mikko Vekkeli This thesis explores how VR can enhance the landscape design process and especially from a landscape Abstract Abstract Presentation board (pcs) 1 Models (pcs) 0 architect's point of view. The subject is at first approached with an introduction to existing design While most landscape architects are just starting to learn While 3D modelling, mostsoftware, landscape 3D and modelling architects and areBIM just to various learn 3D modelling, 3DFrom modelling and BIM are then followed by are astarting review of design processes. the review a suitable Year 2019 common in an architect’s workflow, and the integrationcommon of virtualinreality an architect’s (VR) is already workflow, state and of the integration of virtual reality (VR) is already state of the methodology is chosen for the qualitative case study, in which the possibilities of VR are explored. art withinofarchitecture. In+order to seamlessly co-operate artwith within architects architecture. and other In order related to seamlessly co-operate with architects and other related Number pages (report annexes) 110 During study, asame conceptual development planaim for Merisatama islands ison created. This concept disciplines also in the future, landscape architects should disciplines aim to stay also technically in the thecase future, on the landscape level. architects should to stay technically the same level. Language English is given abstract as form bydesign 3D modellingtool, withbut the ithelp VR, and afor keyenhancing area is chosen further Currently VR is used mostly as a presentational tool, butCurrently it has potential VR is used foranenhancing mostly athe presentational hasofpotential the for design development. This development process is used to demonstrate the study of elements in VR that are process. Biggest obstacles in the integration of VR is theprocess. shortageBiggest of demand obstacles fromin clients, the integration the time of VR is the shortage of demand from clients, the time to interpret 2D plans, of space, views and atmosphere. consumed modelling and the lack of know-how. External consumed demand modelling isdifficult not necessary, and the iffrom lack using ofVR know-how. is like sense External demand is not necessary, if using VR is efficient resource-wise, the methods are relatively easy to efficient assimilate resource-wise, and if it gives thean methods upper hand are relatively easy to assimilate and if it gives an upper hand The case study shows that VR can currently be effectively used for designing concrete interventions, over other offices. over other offices. but the research and formulation of the concept are still best to be done with conventional methods. The This thesis explores the effective integration of VR into This a landscape thesis explores architect’s thedesign effective integration The of also VR into landscape architect’s design process. The site characteristics andprocess. design objectives affectathe applicability of current VR methods. subject is first approached with an introduction to existing subject design is first software approached and a review with an ofintroduction design to existing design software and a review of design work flowbyof with is studied notlandscape yet straightforward - forThen VR tothe give notable valueoftoVR theare design process, processes as described by renowned landscape designers. processes Then the asThe possibilities described renowned VRVR are designers. possibilities studied and demonstrated through a qualitative case study. and demonstrated through a qualitative the designer must be able to use a case higherstudy. variety of software, and the editing interfaces while immersed in created. thestudy, modelIn in VR are still lacking infor accuracy to be used effectively. During the case study, a development plan for Merisatama During islands the is case a development accordance with planthe Merisatama islands is created. In accordance with the
chosen design methodology, the site is first explored, then chosen researched design methodology, and analysed and the site ultimately first explored, thenthe researched and analysed and ultimately Nevertheless, VR proved to beishelpful when studying spatial composition, its relations and qualities, introduced to a new conceptual vision. This vision is given introduced an abstract to a form new conceptual by 3D modelling vision. with This vision is given an abstract form by 3D modelling with and the atmospheric effects of lighting and weather conditions. VR made it easier to assess the effects the help of VR, and a key place is chosen for further development. the help of The VR, design and a key process placeof is this chosen key for further development. The design process of this key of different design decisions and to see the outcome before the plan is constructed. place is used to demonstrate the study of elements in VR place thatisare used difficult to demonstrate to interpretthe from study 2Dof elements in VR that are difficult to interpret from 2D plans, like sense of space, views and atmosphere. plans, like sense of space, views and atmosphere. In the future VR can offer even more to the design process as hardware and software develop, and Keywords virtual reality, landscape design, advanced simulations willcurrently enable the be study of those elements have to concrete be currently assessed with 3D modelling, game engine The case study shows that VR can currently be effectively The used casefor study designing shows concrete that VR can interventions effectively used forthat designing interventions qualitative methods. methods. – the research and formulation of the concept is still best – the to be research done with andconventional formulation of the concept is still best to be done with conventional methods. The site characteristics and design objectives affect the applicability The site characteristics of VR methods. and design objectives affect the applicability of VR methods.
The workflow with VR is not yet straightforward - for VR The to workflow give notable with value VR is tonot the yet design straightforward process, - for VR to give notable value to the design process,
1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4.
Prologue 1 Introduction to the thesis 1 Thesis structure 2 Terminology 3
2. THE PROCESS AND TOOLS FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN 2.1. DESIGN TOOLS 2.1.1. Geographic information system - GIS 2.1.2. 2D and 3D Computer aided design â€“ CAD 2.1.3. Building information modeling - BIM 2.1.4. Virtual reality 126.96.36.199. Virtual reality applications 188.8.131.52. 3D and VR usage in landscape architecture offices 2.2. DIVERSE DESIGN PROCESSES 2.2.1. Theory in Landscape Architecture: Design Process, a review 2.2.2. The "Four trace concepts" 2.3. CONCLUSION
6 6 6 7 8 9 10 12 12 14 15
3. CASE STUDY - MERISATAMA
3.1. LANDING - the expedition 19 3.1.1. Landing in VR? 19 3.1.2. Landing in reality 19 3.2. GROUNDING - the study 28 3.2.1. Grounding in VR 30 3.2.2. The history of Merisatama 32 3.2.3. Flora and fauna 40 3.2.4. Services and activities 44 3.2.5. Analysis of landscape, structures, views and microclimate 48 3.2.6. Merisatama: Official visions and plans 50 3.2.7. Interview with HSS sailing club commodore 57 3.3. FINDING - the conclusion 58 3.3.1. Finding in VR 59 3.3.2. Concluding Findings from Grounding 60 3.3.3. Summary - the basis for development 60 3.4. FOUNDING - the concept 61
4. DESIGNING WITH VR
4.1. The first encounter 66 4.2. Further development of a key area 70 4.2.1. Advancing the concept model in Unreal Engine 70 4.2.2. Choosing the main and supporting software 72 4.2.3. In a BIM environment - Autodesk Revit 72 4.2.4. In a game engine - Unreal Engine 4 76 4.3. Conclusion 82
5. CLOSURE 5.1. Conclusion 5.2. Discussion 5.3. Epilogue
88 92 93
Acknowledgements I thank my husband Samu Sandberg for his choice to withstand and lovingly support a workaholic, despite knowing that "kohta helpottaa (things will quiet down soon)" probably won't happen. I thank my family for always being there for me and believing in me. I thank my advisors Lauri Lemmenlehti and Mikko Vekkeli ( and Plehat) for their advice and for providing me with an entertaining working environment with all the necessary toys and tools. I thank my supervisor Pia Fricker for her very comprehensive guidance during this thesis process, which shows her devotion to push her students to find and seize their capabilities, and having the proportions and timing of both carrot and stick just right for that. I thank Marika Luostarinen for her peer support, it was soothing to henpeck with someone who is in the same boat when the thesis felt overwhelming. And finally, I thank Beata Willman for her words "When it feels like the thesis is never ready, its almost finished", which gave me hope and carried me during the last three months... Now it is finally true.
1.2. Introduction to the thesis
The rapidly developing and expanding field of design assisting software presents both a new possibility and a challenge for landscape architects.
This thesis explores the possibilities enabled by virtual reality (VR) to enhance the landscape design process. The aim is to discover how VR can support and what new aspects it can bring to the design process when it is introduced to a landscape architect's work flow. The possibilities are studied from the very beginning to the end of the design process to find where virtual reality has the most to offer for landscape design, and where technology and software need to develop further before they can be used efficiently.
Architects are already using 3D modelling and Building Information Modelling (BIM) as part of their everyday work flow due to the availability of such design programs that have been developed especially the architect's needs in mind, like ArchiCAD and Revit. A new addition to these programs are virtual reality (VR) software, which utilize 3D modelling and BIM to enable the designer to visually experience her plans before they are built. 3D modelling and the integration of VR are already state of the art within architecture. In order to be technically on the same level, and to be able to seamlessly co-operate with architects and other related disciplines also in the future, landscape architects should also incorporate 3D modelling and VR in their work flow. At the moment majority of Finnish landscape architecture offices already have the necessary 3D modelling software for VR technology, but most of them do not use 3D modelling or VR as tools during the design process. The challenge is that the BIM software are developed firstly for architects and engineers, and are lacking in tools that would serve landscape architects, as is stated in the ‘General Practice Note on Software for BIM projects’ by the Landscape Institute (Landscape Institute, 2012), and the other virtual reality enabling tools are game engines, which are meant for game development as the naming suggests. This challenge is also a possibility: 3D modelling and VR could enable new practices that enhance the design process, if landscape architects can find ways to work with these programs until one is developed to serve their needs.
To understand the starting point; the currently available design tools for landscape design and the definitions of a design process, this thesis will first shortly introduce the history of modern design software and how they are currently used by Finnish landscape architects. Second, the thesis will review how renowned landscape architects and designers have described their understanding of the design process. After careful review of the available tools and different views on the design process, an initial plan for the execution of the case study is formed in accordance with the review findings. To demonstrate a landscape architect's work flow, this thesis includes a qualitative case study, in which a conceptual development plan for Merisatama islands is created. The goal of this case study is to find efficient design methods offered by VR instead of using traditional 2D study and presentation tools. Expected finding is that designers can utilise VR plugins for 3D modelling software and game engines in their landscape design process in order to test and develop their plans in a more hands on way than before, when everything had to be envisioned only on 2D, physical scale models or inside a designer’s head. VR can also be used to study ideas that are not easy to interpret from 2D plans, like sense of space, views and atmosphere. Ultimately the final design can be experienced as an immersive way before the plan is physically built. As VR platforms are still developing, there will probably be limitations to what the software can do efficiently within the limits of available capability and time from a landscape architects’ point of view.
1.3. Thesis structure This thesis is divided into five parts. For a more comprehensive structure, the thesis has been color coded. The first part justifies the topic of this thesis, and is essential for understanding the following parts.
x. MAIN TITLE x.y. SUB-TITLE
1. x.y.z. SUB-CHAPTER
The second part presents the starting points on which the case study is built upon. First the design tools are introduced, and then different design processes are reviewed in relation to advancements in VR. Hasty readers can jump to '2.3. Conclusion'.
THE PROCESS AND TOOLS FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN
The third part is divided to four sub-titles. The third sub-title concludes the first and second subtitles, which address the qualities of the case study site. The fourth and final sub-title builds upon all three and presents a conceptual development plan for Merisatama islands. Hasty readers can read the third and fourth sub-titles.
CASE STUDY - MERISATAMA
The fourth part follows the VR-enhanced design process. The process starts from an abstract level and is gradually developed towards accuracy and photorealism by utilising a variety of software. This part is at the heart of the thesis topic, and is advised to be read throughout.
DESIGNING WITH VR
The fifth part concludes the whole thesis, reflects upon the thesis process and paints a vision for VR usage in the future.
1.4. Terminology Computer aided design (CAD): Computer aided design can be understood as a general term for all design made with computers, but it is generally used to describe the use of computer software to create precise drawings or technical illustrations either in 2D or 3D. (Vekkeli, 2017) 3D modelling: 3D modelling is the use of software to create a virtual, mathematical three-dimensional model that represents a physical object (animate or inanimate), the features of which can but do not have to follow the rules of nature (e.g. gravity). Building information modelling (BIM): In construction planning the term BIM is used to describe a 3D-model that contains all the definitive attributes of components in the construction. A BIM model is a source of shared information that is used as a guide during decision making regarding the construction and as a data bank during the whole process from planning to usage and finally to the demolition of the construction. Head mounted display (HMD): Head mounted display is a device for creating the immersive experience of virtual reality. It is worn over one's eyes and it projects an individual picture of the same environment for both eyes, creating an illusion of a stereoscopic view. (Vekkeli, 2017) Virtual reality (VR): Virtual reality is generally understood as an artificial environment created with computer technology. In this thesis virtual reality is defined as the use of computer technology to create the effect of a three-dimensional environment in which the objects have a sense of spatial presence and in which the environment can be only visual or audio visual and can contain interactive elements. Plugin: A small computer program [software] that makes a larger one work faster or have more features (Cambridge University Press, n.d.).
In order to have an understanding of the current tools and the needs of landscape architects, this thesis will first shortly review different tools and types of design processes available for landscape architects.
2. THE PROCESS AND TOOLS FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN 5
2.1. DESIGN TOOLS
2.1.1. Geographic information system - GIS
Before the age of computers, designers used 2D drawings and physical models as their tools to develop their ideas. After the introduction of computers, the design tool kit has expanded drastically. Next is a short review of the repertoire of computer aided design tools that landscape architects use and their history in order to understand how they serve the needs of this profession.
From a landscape architect’s point of view, the first design tool to be transferred to computers was to analyse geo-referenced data. The development of GIS began when countries started creating digital maps in 1960s for data keeping and analysis purposes (Census Bulletin, 1968) (Ordnance Survey (GB), n.d.) (Canada Department of Foresty, 1965). and a decade later came the first vector GIS called Odyssey GIS, which was developed by Harvard Laboratory Computer Graphics (Chrisman, 2004). Esri, now the largest GIS software company in the world, produced the first commercial GIS software in 1981 (Esri) and from there GIS has developed to a powerful spatial information analysis tool for Landscape architects in e.g. landscape planning and creating landscape reports. The use of GIS has grown even more common after country administrations started to provide easily accessible open data, like National Land Survey of Finland.
Fig.1: A screen capture of a two dimensional digital planning environment commonly understood as a CAD software; Autodesk AutoCAD. Vekkeli, 2017
2.1.2. 2D and 3D Computer aided design – CAD In 1963, two theses addressed Computed aided design (CAD), one a 2D program capable of handling lines and circles called “Sketchpad” (Sutherland, 1964) and the other named “Sketchpad III”, a 3D program working with lines only (Johnson, 1964). In Ivan E. Sutherland’s PhD thesis “Sketchpad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communications System” the operator used a “light pen” to draw lines and circles on the display of a TX-2 computer and to point to existing lines and circles to control them with commands like “move, copy, erase, join” etc. (Sutherland, 1964). These commands are still at the core of CAD usage.
Sketchpad I and III were the first CAD systems for designers, but it took two decades before computers were powerful and affordable enough for CAD to become a common tool. In 1986 Autodesk’s AutoCAD was the most popular microcomputer design program (Lopiccolo, 2002). CAD made drawing the design plans more effective: making changes was faster, the result was cleaner than by hand and it made designing in 3D possible. Landscape architects today use CAD software for the same reasons to produce 2D plans of their design. Through the availability of Visual Programming languages, the integration of algorithmic thinking increased. By making changes to parametres within the algorithm, designers can computationally generate alternative forms and study more alternatives than with traditional methods. This is in extensive use by architects, but its potential for landscape architects is yet unrealized according to Harmon et al. (2016). While buildings are meant to withstand the passage of time, landscape architects welcome the change, the circle of growth and decay of nature in the landscape. With procedural modelling, landscape architects can start to work with the landscapes as the dynamic entities they are (Harmon, et al., 2016). Like all tools, parametric design should be used with discretion - the design decisions should ultimately come from the critical deliberation of the designer. As such, 3D modelling with CAD has developed greatly from 1964. It is well integrated to an architect’s work flow through their use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) supporting software like ArchiCAD to create their plans. As BIM becomes more common and becomes required by the building industry through legislation, the demand for 3D modelled landscapes also rises and landscape architects will have to answer to that demand.
2. THE PROCESS AND TOOLS FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN // 2.1. DESIGN TOOLS
2.1.3. Building information modeling - BIM The story of BIM starts in 1975, when Eastman et al. published their article discussing a Building Description System (BDS) they had developed. In the article Eastman et al. predicted that most of the design process will move from hand drawings to a system environment where one can construct the design project from a library of standard elements and self-created custom elements. The system then enables the definition, modification and arrangement of these elements and the production of drawings from the design and also provides means to analyse its performance. This kind of single database is useful for communication, analyses, coordination and construction and afterwards for monitoring, maintenance and depreciation. (Eastman, et al., 1975.) Even though BDS became known as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Eastman et al. quite successfully described how BIM is used in the 2010s: A BIM model is a source of shared information that is used as a guide during decision making regarding the construction and as a data bank during the whole process from planning to usage and finally to the demolition of the construction. Why BIM is becoming more popular is certainly connected to more powerful computers but also to need: buildings are becoming bigger, more complex and technical while the pressure is to build as fast and efficiently as possible. At the beginning of 21st century, Finland became the number one European country in building information modelling due to leading BIM research. After 2007, all state estate projects were required to have building information models. (Mölsä, 2018.)
Soon, private building companies followed suit. For example, a notable Finnish product development and construction group YIT is using BIM to develop and construct Tripla, the biggest mall in Finland (Symetri). Another product development and construction group Skanska uses BIM in their every project in Finland (Skanska). The more common BIM becomes, the more pressure there is for landscape architects to use it in order to cooperate on the same level with architects, who could already be called BIM-natives through their everyday use of BIM supporting software like ArchiCAD and Revit. The UK Landscape Institute has noted that a “major concern in the landscape industry regarding BIM use, that lack of expertise in the use of Landscape Information Modelling could effectively remove landscape architects from the supply chain” in an interview conducted by Ahmad and Aliyu (Ahmad and Aliyu, 2012). The article stresses the need for Landscape Information Modelling (LIM) Software, but before one is developed, it is essential that landscape architects try to manage with the BIM tools available in order to keep up with other designers.
While BIM has regularized the use of 3D modelling in design, the designers typically view and interact with the model through 2D screens that show perspective, axonometric or isometric representations of the 3D model. The advancements in virtual reality technology provide a chance to experience the three dimensions.
Fig.2: A screen capture of a three dimensional digital planning environment commonly understood as a BIM software; Autodesk Revit (Vekkeli, 2017).
According to the member of UK Landscape Institute in 2012, BIM supporting software that can be used for landscape architecture include Vectorworks Landmark, Land F/X, LandCAD, SiteWorks, ArchiTerra, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk`s Revit, Graphisoft ArchiCAD (Ahmad and Aliyu, 2012). The writer of this thesis would like to note that Rhino 6 with its Landsdesign and BIM plugins is also a possibility. Many of these software also support algorithm based visual programming applications, like Grasshopper for Rhino 6 and Dynamo for Revit.
2.1.4. Virtual reality Virtual reality is a broad term and can be used to describe anything that is simulating space with the use of computer technology. In this thesis virtual reality is defined as the use of computer technology to create the effect of a three-dimensional environment in which the objects have a sense of spatial presence and in which the environment can be only visual or audio visual and can contain interactive elements. This thesis focuses especially on the use of head mounted displays (HMD) in creating virtual reality experiences due to their superiority in creating a sense of immersion.
Fig.3: Above the first head mounted display, Sword of Damocles by Ian Sutherland in 1968 (Sutherland, 1968) and below Fig.4: the 21th century wireless HTC Vive Pro 2.0 head mounted display, which was the device used for VR studies during the making of this thesis.
The potential of virtual reality (VR) in enhancing design and education had been noted and even studied on as early as in the 1960s. The first to do research on interactive computing and head-mounted displays was the creator of Sketchpad, Ivan Sutherland, who wrote a paper titled “The Ultimate Display” for the Congress of International Federation of Information Processing in 1965. In his paper he envisioned an immersive simulation of a physical world for all senses which can but does not have to - follow the rules of physical reality. (Sutherland, 1965). Among the first to put virtual reality in practical use were the US Air Force and NASA, which have developed virtual reality simulations for training and study purposes since 1960s (Schroeder, 1993). Before 1980s, virtual reality went by many names and knowledge of the concept was limited to researchers and institutions with enough resources to utilize the computing power needed for VR technology. The coming of more affordable computing power started the development of virtual reality products for commercial use. (Schroeder, 1993). The first to use the term virtual reality and popularise it was Jason Lanier, the chief executive officer of VPL Research, Inc., which manufactured VR accessories and applications (Steuer, 1992). Since these two benchmarks in VR history, recognition of virtual reality has been constantly growing. Virtual reality is a concept that can be harnessed to enhance experiences, whichever that experience might be – entertainment, education, demonstration etc. or a mixture of them all.
2. THE PROCESS AND TOOLS FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN // 2.1. DESIGN TOOLS
184.108.40.206. Virtual reality applications The limitations in computing power and affordable technology have been the biggest constraints in the development of commercial virtual reality accessories and applications. Fifty years after Sutherland’s vision of the ultimate display, VR head mounted display accessories came to the open consumer market (Williams, 2016) (Iribe, 2016). This inspired software developers to create applications for them and from a landscape architects’ point of view, VR visualisation and game engine compatibility are very promising. There are BIM supporting software plugins that offer visualisation in virtual reality, like Chaosgroup V-Ray, IrisVR, Enscape, Lumion and Design Space. These plugins utilize the key factor in BIM: the I for information. With the information from the 3D model, these plugins render the model to a scenery with predefined realistic materials built into the plugin and then use virtual reality system head mounted displays like HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung GearVR to put the operator “inside” the model so that the design has a sense of spatial presence. These VR plugins support at least the most common 3D modelling software used by architects for BIM like Google SketchUp, Autodesk AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, Autodesk Revit and Graphisoft ArchiCAD.
Fig.5: A design visualisation rendered with Enscape.
Virtual reality plugins for 3D modelling software enable the designer to get a spatial experience of her plan while designing and do changes accordingly to achieve the desired outcome. While the renders can be very realistic, these VR plugins are currently limited to visual, inanimate experiences and some support making notes, but they are far from the experiences created by virtual reality games, which utilize e.g. animations, sound, interactivity and haptic feedback. However, as is stated by Whyte and Nikolic (2018), VR continues to be used most widely for design review in later phases instead of throughout the design process.
Fig.6: A screen capture of the Unreal Engine 4 game engine interface.
220.127.116.11. 3D and VR usage in landscape architecture offices In a series of interviews with landscape architecture offices in Norway to map the tools used by landscape architects, one finding was that there is generally a propensity for 3D modelling-oriented work (Moural, et al., 2018). There is no such data available from Finnish landscape architecture offices. In order to assess how far Finnish offices are from utilising VR technology in their design process, a short questionnaire was formed to examine the extent of 3D modelling and VR usage in landscape architecture offices. As VR requires 3D modelling, the utilisation degree of 3D modelling combined with the use of 3D modelling software compatible with VR plugins can be used as an indicator on how easy it would be for a certain landscape architecture office to implement virtual reality in their design processes. For those offices that already utilize VR, the question is to what extent and in which part(s) of the design process. The anonymous questionnaire was created with Google Forms in Finnish, and the link was sent to 23 office representatives, who were either listed on the Association of Finnish Landscape Architects web page or were found with the Google search for “maisemaarkkitehtitoimisto” (Finnish for ‘landscape architecture office’).
The questionnaire was open for one week and it received 16 answers from offices. The offices were divided to three groups: no 3D modelling software (3D:0); at least one 3D modelling software (3D:1+); both 3D modelling software and VR technology (3D+VR). Out of these 16 offices who replied, there were two (3D:0), ten (3D:1+) and four (3D+VR). All of office group (3D:1+) had at least one software that either supports VR applications or is capable of exporting files that are compatible with VR software. Theoretically, all that is required for (3D:1+) to start using VR, is to obtain one VR supporting plugin or software and a mobile or hardware head mounted display with controllers. There are many different reasons why an office might not see VR as a useful tool for them at the moment and not purchase the needed equipment. Even though majority of the offices use 3D modelling, 80% of the group (3D:1+) uses 3D modelling only in approximately ½ of their projects or less. In group (3D+VR) use of 3D modelling is understandably more frequent.
offices answered OF WHICH
2 10 4
don't have any 3D modelling software have at least one 3D modelling software that supports VR plugins use VR technology
L IM ITING FACTORS 3D:1+
2.1. DESIGN TOOLS // 2.1.4. Virtual reality
L IMFITING i g . 7 : LFACTORS I M I T I N G FA C T O R S
C L U M S Y D E SI G N I N T ER F AC E
T I M E C O N SU MI N G C L U M S Y D E SI G N I N T ER F AC E N O A D D E D V AL UE T O D E S I G N
5 2 0
T I M E C O N SU MI N G L A C K O F D E MAN D F R OM C L I E N TS
N O P E R C E I V ED V AL U E T O D E S I G N 2 H I G H P R I C E O F E Q U I P ME N T
H I G H P R I C E O F E Q U I P ME N T
All of groups (3D:1+) and (3D+VR) use 3D and VR for visualisation purposes, but not so much during the design process. The question regarding this type use of 3D and VR had the design process divided into four phases; initial data gathering and management, sketching, concept phase and realization phase, and two additional purposes; visualisation and BIM. In (3D:1+) group, only half use 3D modelling for most of the different phases of the process. In the (3D+VR) group only one office uses VR in the design process but uses it throughout.
L A C K O F D E MAN D F R OM C L I E N TS L A C K O F K N O W - H OW
Most common factors limiting the use of 3D and VR in groups (3D:1+) and (3D+VR) were lack of demand from clients and the time consumed in modelling (10 out of 14 answers per factor). In the (3D:1+) group rose also the lack of know-how in 3D modelling as a limiting factor (6 out of 10 answers). Only two offices out of (3D:1+) do not see additional value in 3D modelling.
L A C K O F K N O W - H OW
U S E O F 3 D ( FOR 3 D:1+ ) O R
Fig.8: USE OF 3D (FOR 3D:1+) OR VR (FOR 3D+VR) V R ( FOR 3 D+VR) D URING T HE PROCESS DURING DIFFERENT PHASES 3D:1+ M A N A G I N G B A SE M AT ER I A L
DR A F T ING CON CEPT
C O N S T R U C TI ON P L AN N I N G
In order to integrate VR into the design process in addition to visualisation use in offices, following requirements must be met:
V I S U A L I S AT I ON
P O S T - P L AN N I N G 0
In conclusion, majority of Finnish landscape architecture offices already have the necessary 3D modelling software for VR technology, but most of them do not use 3D modelling or VR as tools during the design process.
Tools and methods must be time effective.
Tools and methods must be reasonably easy to assimilate.
Tools and methods must give advantage over other offices not using VR: it must offer a clear improvement to a certain part of the process or offer something that is not possible with existing tools.
Demand from clients can speed up the implementation. However, Finnish landscape architecture offices can also acknowledge the benefits of using VR without external demand, like Norwegian offices (Moural, et al., 2018).
2.2. DIVERSE DESIGN PROCESSES This thesis aims to discover how VR can support and what new aspects it can bring to the design process. To achieve this goal, the author of this thesis wanted to understand the starting point; what the design process consists of, how the currently available tools serve this process and if there are points where new applications of virtual reality could be of help.
2.2.1. Theory in Landscape Architecture: Design Process, a review In truth, there are as many different design processes as there are designers. In the book Theory in Landscape Architecture, Simon Swaffeld (2002) has collected writings by many renowned landscape designers from their respective publications. The second part of the book, descriptively named ‘Design Process’, consists of a selection of different personal views on how a designer should approach design (Swaffield, 2002). All of them are reviewed in this chapter to try to understand what the design process should consist of according to these professionals. These writings have been published between the years 1950 and 1998, but it would seem that the general view on the design process has not changed much since, as the iterative core process of research, analysis and synthesis is very similar to what was taught to the author of this thesis at Aalto University. The first paper, written by Hideo Sakaki, describes the basic and generally accepted process of research, analysis and synthesis. Sakaki states that this process is linear and that the synthesis distinguishes a designer from an engineer or a technician. (Sasaki, 1950). While Kevin Lynch and Gary Hack also agree to this basic structure, they view it as a cycle in which the design problem, or the program as they call it, is redefined according to research and analysis findings until it solved (a synthesis is created). Interestingly, Lynch
Lynch and Hack also warn designers not to be numbed by their preferable methods during the process. While the accumulated knowledge helps with analysis and to “shield them from the anxieties of open search”, it also limits the possibilities of the synthesis (Lynch and Hack, 1984). The author of this thesis also believes that landscape architects should objectively examine their processes and have courage to try new ways and tools in order to keep up with the development in our industry.
Due to advancement in technology, this virtual world is not limited to a designer’s head any longer. It can be created with virtual reality technology, outsourcing the task of remembering all the key factors of the site and program to the computer and freeing the mind to focus on the design itself. Virtual reality has potential to be used also as a design tool, as discovered in a study conducted by George et al. (George, et al., 2017), in which a micro-park was sketched to a parking spot with 3D painting tool Tilt Brush. In the study, utilization of 3D painting in VR resulted in landscape architecture students being more cognizant of their decisions and led them to work more holistically.
Steven Krog shares this worry of landscape architects getting stuck in their ways; how they are starting to stiffen into patterns of analysis and forget that design is art. While he does not disapprove the generally accepted design process, he calls for a more courageous touch in design. From his point of view, landscape architects should not hide behind strong analyses and reasoning if that means they are not brave enough to create expressive art – places that people want to go and see. He also argues that two dimensional drawings are not enough to study or manipulate landscape and graphic 2D plans do not guarantee desirable landscape. (Krog, 1983).
Virtual reality could offer new ways to study and manipulate landscape in 3D and explore different possibilities in order to create strong experiences with the design. In a study where students of different fields of urban design were introduced to two VR experiences with a head mounted display, participants described that it was easier to perceive topography and sense of space with VR. Important factors in creating a sense of immersive experience were free navigation and line of sight, sounds and high display quality. (Hayek, et al., 2016)
and Hack write about a “virtual world”, a mental model about the site and program, which a designer must form in their head as a support for their design process (Lynch and Hack, 1984).
2. THE PROCESS AND TOOLS FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN // 2.2. DIVERSE DESIGN PROCESSES
The acceptance for the structure of research, analysis and synthesis keeps it ground. Desire to bring a certain emphasis to this structure in the following papers written by Ian McHarg and Randolph Hester Jr.’s stems from the current topics of their time. During the 1960s the exploitation of nature for industrial advantages raised concern and this incited Ian McHarg to emphasis ecology in the design process; its influence over time to create location specific features and to see it as a significant process in itself that brings value to the design if taken into account. (McHarg, 1967). Currently there is no efficient software available that can demonstrate the passage of time in a landscape design plan, only plugins that show-case seasons and different stages of growth in vegetation. The following sentences from Randolph Hester Jr. paper ‘Community Design’ summarises his main argument: “planning is too important to be left entirely to experts” but “the creative act remains in the domain of the designer”. Hester encourages design with the users; not against, for or by. Landscape architect can be the mediator who offers and facilitates the alternatives and listens to different points of view. The designers’ input is the theories, analyses and new perspectives and the users provide the context and insight to the neighbourhood. (Hester, 1974)
There are studies of temporal simulations and they have been described as beneficial when planning management procedures for sites, e.g. (Ghadirian and Bishop, 2008), (Orland and Uusitalo, 2001). A software capable of reading factors affected by the passage of time in a landscape design plan combined with virtual reality could be a powerful tool in exploring how the experience of a place changes when vegetation grows, and surfaces wear out. Research on using 3D models for collaboration between designers, stakeholders and citizens have shown to help understand the plan and focus on design problems, increase public interest and trigger ideas and memories of the site (Herwig and Paar, 2002) (Woksepp and Olofsson, 2008) (Rahimian and Ibrahim, 2011). For example National land survey of Finland (NLS) and the city of Oulu have seen this potential and with the help of two Finnish universities, Aalto University and University of Oulu, created an exhibition where citizens could explore plans for Oulu city center and three other sites with VR goggles and vote for their favourite (National land survey of Finland, 2018).
In between these two papers another approach to design in general was presented by Lawrence Halprin. While Lynch and Hack believed that the process has inner cycles, Halprin’s process is truly a circle. He describes how goal orientation is a threat to endeavour; after a goal is set, we try to haste the process to achieve it with the most direct method possible. Like Hester, his emphasis is also on participatory design, because he believes that feeling of involvement in the process is what we need and what is meaningful for us. The phrase ‘not the destination but the journey’ fits his RSVP cycles – it is not even important at what point of the RSVP cycle one starts their design process. (Halprin, 1969) No matter the type of process, virtual reality could be used as a platform that enhances this participatory process that Halprin and Hester call for. Landscape architects are used to communicating with drawings and visualisations, but for those not familiar with two dimensional plans and their scales, experiencing the design in virtual three-dimensional space could help them understand and form their opinion on it. However, this master thesis focuses on utilising virtual reality during the design process, and will leave out the study of applying virtual reality for participatory processes and presentations. The last paper under the topic of design process in the book "Theory in Landscape Architecture" is by Bernard Lassus, who writes about the differences and possibilities of tangible and visual only landscapes, and like Krog, emphasises the courage to intellectually explore the character of the place when creating experiences. He uses his own projects as examples – sometimes this intellectual exploration can even lead to the realization that the most minimal intervention or no intervention at all can be the best choice (Lassus, 1998).
2.2.2. The "Four trace concepts" Next will be presented one more perspective on the design process that was introduced to the writer of this thesis during her master studies at Aalto university. In 1999, The "Four trace concepts" was published by Cristophe Girot (Girot, 1999), who is a professor of landscape architecture in ETH Zurich. The "Four trace concepts" consist of landing, grounding, finding and founding, in which landing happens only once, at the beginning, when the designer first sets foot on the site and explores it with an open mind. The process ends with founding, the plan, which is synthesized from the three other concepts. In between the grounding is the research and analysis phase, and during finding the designer can either process this research or make a surprise discovery, ultimately leading to the finding of the most relevant aspects regarding the site. Christopher Girot designed his "Four trace concepts" method as a tool for the designer who is asked to intervene in a place he or she does not have comprehensive knowledge of in advance. Girot writes that the primary purpose of this highly intuitive and experiential approach to working with sites is to draw as much as possible from potential of any given place and to assess which existing landscape elements might be of real significance for the design yet to come. This purpose resonates well with Krog and Lassusâ€™ call for intellectual exploration and McHargâ€™s emphasis on the ecology of the site. Girot emphasises in the introduction that this process has to be linear so that the site can emerge in a comprehensible manner, like Sasaki. Later on, however, he says that finding, the third concept, can happen also during landing. To the writer of this thesis it also seems that a surprise finding can lead back to grounding, and
so the process starts to resemble more the iterative process that Lynch and Hack describe; where research and analysis leads to findings and findings may open questions which require more grounding work. Girot has created the "Four trace concepts" to be a design supportive tool, not a description of the whole process. Therefore, the participatory process is not present, but it could be implemented into the "Four trace concepts" and can even be seen as an obvious part in the grounding phase. Halprin would demand participation at each concept, but Hester would be content with the participation in grounding and leave the creative process, the founding, to the designer. The writer of this thesis believes that the "Four trace concepts" approach is a good way of controlling and analysing information about the place in question and is a sufficient mixture of different views regarding the design process. Otherwise a new place with all its possibilities and both clear and subtle meanings can feel overwhelming. It also reminds of a multilateral approach, so that one does not get carried away by one interesting finding. Lastly, it gives reassurance: with the approach it is likely that a great number of different aspects of the place are noticed and taken into account â€“ otherwise it could be easy to get lost in the VR technology that is studied in this thesis and forget the most important; the site itself. Thus, this approach will be used in the case study of this thesis.
THE FOUR T R A C E CONCEPTS
LANDING first experience
2. THE PROCESS AND TOOLS FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN // 2.3. CONCLUSION
2.3. CONCLUSION To conclude the design process and the supporting tools, a landscape architect can utilise whichever of these tools and presented design processes, or a combination of them, to create a design and to produce the required plans for implementation. The choices depend on her own preferences and learned skill set.
The chosen design method for the case study is Cristophe Girot's "The Four Trace Concepts", which supports a careful and multilateral approach to design. Due to the explorative nature of the case study, the selection of design software might change or expand during the case study.
The one thing that these currently used tools do not solve, however, is the “virtual world”, which Lynch and Hack write of (Lynch and Hack, 1984). This mental image is still restricted inside the head of the designer.
The main design software in the case study is Autodesk Revit, which the writer has prior knowledge of. Revit supports Enscape, a rendering application that supports also VR equipment. Enscape is a practical choice due to its feature of being embedded into the main software. It can be launched directly from Revit. The author of this thesis anticipates that Revit and Enscape alone are not sufficient for studying the possibilities of VR, and in addition to them a VR supporting game engine is also chosen. The game engine is Unreal Engine 4, which the writer of this thesis has learned during a studio course.
With virtual reality, this could change. Like people outsource their memory to their mobile devices, were it events in a calendar, phone numbers or notes from a meeting – a designer could outsource all aspects of the site to one model and access this data bank by putting on VR goggles (head mounted display, HMD). This could free capacity to focus better on the design questions and study different possibilities in virtual reality. Majority of Finnish landscape architecture offices already have the necessary 3D modelling software for VR technology, but most of them do not use 3D modelling or VR as tools during the design process. VR tools and methods must be time effective and reasonably easy to assimilate for designers to integrate them into their work flow. This thesis will explore how HMD supporting virtual reality applications and game engines can be utilised effectively in the landscape design process with the help of a case study.
The hypothesis for the study is that VR combined with BIM and a game engine makes it possible to study experiences of a place, e.g. sense of scale, time of day, views and atmosphere, which are important aspects in landscape design but not yet possible to tangibly study anywhere else and thus are limited to the designer’s capacity to visualise them inside her head. As VR platforms are still developing, there will probably be limitations to what the software can do efficiently within the limits of available capability and time from a landscape architects’ point of view.
Uncertainties to be considered during this study
Using virtual reality as a design tool has its uncertainties. One study by (Kuliga, et al., 2015) conducted research on differences in experiences of a facility between a VR simulation and a walk through in real life. The biggest difference was in the atmosphere; the virtual space felt too empty and clean to be pleasant. This could be a threat when someone is studying a plan in VR: will the user be able to focus on the design, or will they think that they dislike the design, when this actually stems from the subconscious dislike towards lifeless environments. This is a relevant question which is for now left unanswered: the writer of this thesis could not find any research on how different visualisation techniques affect the VR experience. Another concern rises from a study where Norwegian landscape architects were interviewed on their use of design tools and their view on virtual reality; will the user be so much in awe of the VR technology that they do not focus on the design itself (Moural, et al., 2018). The writer of this thesis would like to note that the latter fear can be true for a while, but when VR becomes more common, it will be viewed as normal as a TV screen.
The case study site was issued by the provider of this thesis topic, Plehat Oy, and the target is the Merisatama islands, which are in direct proximity of the Helsinki city centre and under city ownership. Helsinki city wants to highlight its character as a capital seafront and is developing it accordingly, but this emphasis is not yet visible on the Merisatama islands or its plans. By their geographical location, Merisatama islands would consist of Sirpalesaari, Liuskaluoto and Liuskasaari, southern and northern Uunisaari and Harakka, but by history of human activity, Harakka does not fit in with the others and is in fact part of the chain of fortification islands. After the landing and grounding phases, Harakka was left out of the development plan for Merisatama islands. This case study aims to create a conceptual development plan for Merisatama islands to realise its potential as a capital archipelago with all year-round activity. Ways of using virtual reality will be explored throughout the design process to find procedures that fit the requirements derived from the questionnaire. For full review of the questionnaire, see 18.104.22.168. The design method applied in this case study is "the Four Trace Concepts"; the act of landing, grounding, finding and founding, by Cristophe Girot. For a more throughout description of the concepts, see 2.2.2.
3. CASE STUDY - MERISATAMA
TU KA TO IS PU
AKK AKA TU
K AT U
MERIPUISTO PARK NT
A IS MER
HELSINKI RAILWAY STATION
Fig.9: MERISATAMA AERIAL PICTURE
3.1. LANDING - the expedition The first phase is the act of "Landing", which happens only once, when the designer first sets foot on the site. In regard of this case study, the landing is conducted by foot and it is recorded with photographs and notes on printed maps. In order to openly welcome the site as it is, it is important to avoid any prejudices and confront the site with an open mind – with feeling before thinking. Therefore, this chapter will be written as a selfnarrated story of my landing experience.
LANDING 3.1.1. Landing in VR?
3.1.2. Landing in reality
Landing happens only once, so the one who is landing has to make a decision: to land in reality or in virtual reality?
For Uunisaari, landing had already occurred in the autumn of 2017 as part of a design studio. Liuskasaari, Harakka and Sirpalesaari were new acquaintances, and I landed on them in the beginning of March in 2018.
VR landing is already possible in many cities thanks to 3D modelled Google Earth. But when the design task is in reality, and the implementation will be in reality for real people, the answer is clear: one should land in reality. In the future the technology can become so advanced that one can visit the place in virtual reality without being able to tell it apart from reality, like in Sutherland’s vision of “The Ultimate Display” (Sutherland, 1965). When this is achieved, it will bring an interesting question up for debate - would the end result be the same whether the design is based on reality or virtual reality?
I have lived in the city centre for a couple of years and I often walk along the shoreline, but I had never visited any of the Merisatama islands. Somehow, even though the islands are right there, they did not catch my eye: I was either observing the lively shoreline or watching the display of boats docked on the pier. And when the boats are gone during the winter and it is possible to actually see the islands, and even access them via a temporary bridge, they still seemed too dull and dark to go across. The only interesting thing was the old brick building on Uunisaari, but it was not enough to call me over to the islands. I realize that the time of the landing will affect my impression of the place. That is why I need to revisit Merisatama islands during grounding at different times of the year.
Above Fig.10 and sub-figures 1-6: Pictures from Uunisaari in September 2017.
3.1. LANDING - the expedition // 3.1.2. Landing in reality
Uunisaari I landed on Uunisaari in September of 2017. The island felt contradicting – close but far, pleasant yet unwelcoming, tidy and wild. When going across with the ferry, it is as if you arrive through someone’s backyard, uninvited. Standing on the pier, on my left is a sand path between the rocky shore and a neatly moved lawn, and further away a couple of old and tall linden trees. In front of me are three buildings and a worn-out concrete path in between. The two old brick buildings have character, but it is diminished by the scattered picnic tables and stools in front, also a hammock!, and the miscellaneous objects stored at the side of the smaller one. (At the time I did not realize that the smaller one is currently a sauna. I did know the bigger one is a restaurant.) The third building is newer, with a wood panel façade, and looks like a kiosk of sorts, though not in use at the moment. (1) In between these buildings, amongst the alder trunks, an intriguing view opens towards the beach. I follow the cracked concrete path towards the sandy shore. From this point onward, the awareness of being in the heart of Helsinki starts gradually disappearing. The beach is very pleasant: the restaurant terrace and the beach face the afternoon sun and open to a view of Sirpalesaari. The masts of sailing boats docked on Sirpalesaari chime in the wind. Old alders frame the
beach and have a strong character with their twisted trunks and large canopies. (2)
and the sandy bottom looks so inviting that I would like to jump and walk in it, if the water were warmer. Possibly a nice and a safe spot for children to play, with soft beach sand on each side. The southern side of the beach is quite narrow and well protected from the sea wind by the rising bedrock and trees that grow at the side where the soft sand shifts to hard rock.(5)
From the beach I rise a meter or two to the centermost and highest point of Northern Uunisaari: a smooth bedrock, which could be a good vantage point, if the trees weren’t blocking the view from all directions. This potential vantage point looks like it has been part of a garden once; the space is framed by typical domestic vegetation like syringas and roses. In the middle is a stone foundation of a building and next to it a spot for barbecue. (3)
The small wooden bridge going over this canal is shaded by a canopy of alders and rowans on each end. Birds are hiding in their drooping branches and competing with the chimes of the sail boats with their chirps.
Due to the lack of long views one could easily forget how close the city is, if it weren’t for the soft noise of cars passing along the shore.
The concrete path that started at the ferry pier ends abruptly after the bridge, at the edge of this canopy. The bare bedrock, the vast sea with its scent, splashing waves and gusting wind come at me all at once. It is oddly calming but also overwhelming – the contrast to the peaceful and lush northern part is so tangible. (6)
I follow the smooth bedrock that descends toward the eastern tip of the island. The tip is entirely different and feels almost alienated from other parts of the tidy island; suddenly the Kaivopuisto park, Mattolaituri Café and the road come to view once again. The rocky tip is covered in bird droppings and pioneer vegetation has started to grow in between the cracks, wild and untidy. (4)
There is beauty in this rugged rock: the details on the surface and on the small, subsisting vegetation that has been trampled by feet of the visitors. These paths are not the only man-made marks – there is also a neatly stacked stone foundation. Later on, I learn that it is the remnants of a bathhouse.
I don’t feel like spending any more time than necessary at the tip, so I backtrack to the center and descend again, now towards the southern Uunisaari island. In between the northern and southern islands is a narrow and shallow canal of sorts. It is neatly aligned with rocks
I can turn my back on either contrary: the sea and the power of nature or the capital city façade. The sea is more captivating, but soon I have turn back. The sea wind is so cold and merciless.
Fig.11: View to Sirpalesaari from Carusel (on the right).
Sirpalesaari After acquiring the thesis topic from Plehat Oy in February of 2018, I head back to the Merisatama islands at 8th of March to land on the rest of them; Sirpalesaari, Liuskasaari and Harakka. The weather on the landing day reminded more a winter of central than coastal Finland: the landscape was white from ice and snow and the harbour had frozen shut. Even the sky was an endless mass of white clouds. However, the wind was definitely a strong sea wind. One could describe the weather as hostile. I stand on the shore, next to the café Carusel. Behind me are the linden trees and valuable façades, in front of me opens a view of the islands in their winter slumber. There are paths visible from where people have walked on ice to the islands and over them – but the snow makes it feel like the islands have been covered in white sheets, like old furniture, present but forgotten. People
go there for the winter views and use those islands only as a platform – they don’t visit them for the islands’ sake. The ice makes their rocky silhouette easier to interpret – like a very open U that frames and directs one’s view towards the lowest point. At the opposite edges of my vision rise Harakka and Sirpalesaari, framing the gradually declining form that reaches its lowest point at the bulwark connecting Uunisaari and Liuskasaari. Low enough to dream of a view to the sea, but too high to actually see the horizon where sky meets water. I walk across the ice between Carusel and Sirpalesaari, landing amongst the big boats on winter storage on the northern side of the island. There are no signs that prevent me from going there, but I don’t feel welcome to walk so close to someone’s property nor is this property arranged by-passers in mind. If I wanted to
avoid walking among the boats, I would have to tiptoe on the edge of the pier – some of the prows even extend over the edge. There are objects that I could trip on, and I can’t tell If they have a makeshift purpose or are they just left as they are due to ignorance. This dockyard is framed by an old, white and long storage building and the high bedrock, which has been cut to gain more boat space. They provide shelter from the cold wind. A big crane stands in the middle, which is visible all the way from Tehtaankatu outside of the growing season. I feel bad for the old storage building – it has a nice rough and functional feeling to it, but now it is hiding behind all these boats. Probably the only direction where it can be admired from is the sea.
Fig.12: The south facing rocks of Sirpalesaari and the SPS sailing club facilities: on the left the restaurant, in the center the lodgings and bathroom. Behind them, on the right, is the old warehouse.
I head for the restaurant which I know is on top of the hill. I stop in between the old storage building and newer constructions that seem to be built to serve the sailing club and its guest harbour activities. In the middle of them is an inner, intimate yard with playground equipment and a very pleasant presence. The trees have grown tall in the shelter of the buildings and an inviting view opens to the sea. I forget about the restaurant for now and follow the view to the shore. The southern side of Sirpalesaari descends gently to the sea and the rock has a beautiful red colour. I think that it might be a very pleasant environment in the warm summer months, but now the wind is too cold. I go back to the inner yard and head to the restaurant, which is closed for winter. Its terrace open to the sea and there is an unobstructed view towards Hernesaari industrial area and Pihlajasaari. Right now Hernesaari with its huge warehouses is not pleasant to the eye, but with the new city plans those warehouses will be replaced by apartment buildings. I defy the wind and walk to the highest point on the rock, next to the restaurant. The northern side that faces Carusel is partly covered by vegetation that seems to have been allowed to grow as it pleases. The Sirpalesaari faรงade towards the mainland is not very flattering: young trees and pioneer vegetation growing in the cracks cause it look messy and untidy. The rocky cliff is quite steep and looks dangerous to tread on.
Fig.13: Inner yard
Fig.14: View from the inner yard towards the sea
Fig.15: The old warehouse and miscellaneous sailing accessories
I descend back to the boats and head for Liuskaluoto and Liuskasaari. Fig.16: Boat prow extending to the walkway. Fig.17: a cavity used as a dumpsite.
3.1. LANDING - the expedition // 3.1.2. Landing in reality
Liuskasaari The cluster of small red buildings known as Skiffer sit on top of a bare flat rock that has been extended with landfills and concrete ramps. These fishermen’s hut lookalikes seem out of place in the context of being at the capital waterfront and lack connection to their surroundings. I know that the Skiffer restaurant and its gas station are very popular during the summer, but now they are both closed. Someone has seized the icy opportunity and cleared a small patch of ice to play, perhaps ice hockey, in front of the gas pump pier. The pier probably provides a nice spot to sit on when changing shoes to skates. I continue forward. Liuskaluoto is connected to Liuskasaari with a wide wooden bridge, which has nice craftsmanship details. Finally I start feeling like it is okay for me to be here. Liuskasaari is home to the Helsinki Sailing Club (Helsingfors Segelsällskap), and they look after the island. The overall impression is of well-kept and welcoming. Small boats are stored in neat rows and a path is left clear for walking. However, this kind of open storage like in Sirpalesaari makes the island seem disorganized from afar, as it is the view that opens to the city shoreline.
Fig.18: Skiffer sitting on top of Liuskaluoto
The clubhouse is behind a red, wood-panelled boat shed, and visible only from certain directions from the mainland. The clubhouse, Liuskasaari peak and the red shed shelter the courtyard from wind. All the deciduous trees on Liuskasaari are at the edges of this courtyard, and there is not many. A few stunted rowans grow close to the third building, a small apartment snugged tightly at the side of the rock. It has the same red panel style as the boat shed and looks very homely. The only bigger tree grows between the clubhouse and the shed. The clubhouse differs from all other building styles present in the islands of Merisatama (there is no one coherent style whatsoever) with its rounded main hall that enables both views to almost every direction and light from all directions. On the rocky peak of Liuskasaari is a mast of sorts, perhaps to emphasis the sailing use of this island. Next to it is a thriving mountain pine. Standing next to the mast I can see well to the open sea, but the wind is merciless, so I descend back to the protection of the bedrock. When I continue forward, past the small apartment, I arrive to the most wondrous place yet. In 2013, the big boat warehouse of the sailing club burned down on Liuskasaari and revealed the landscape underneath. I stand in the middle of where the warehouse used to be
and look around. To South I can see Harakka and its main building and the open sea; to North opens a view to the harbour and the prestigious Ullanlinna façades. The contrast is the same as with southern Uunisaari. It is poetic, magical even, how I can feel so close to nature and forget about the capital just by turning my back to it. Like with Uunisaari, I feel very close to nature in this spot, but here I am safe from the raw power of the sea – this is like a natural haven. The shoreline is formed so that nor the ice or waves can reach me and the beautifully smoothened rock creates a wall that protects this spot from wind. Where Uunisaari bulwark connects to Liuskasaari, two evergreen pines sway softly in the wind and at their feet bushes and tall grass sticks out from the snow. At the extension of the bulwark are picnic tables and benches, but the structure looks like something bigger and not related to the burned warehouse, has been dismantled. I think that this spot has too much potential to be covered again by a new warehouse. I still have Harakka left to land on, but I am so cold that I decide to leave it to another time. I head back to the mainland through Uunisaari and notice a pivot sledge track in front of the beach. It seems that during winter, at least when the sea has frozen, there is more activity than I thought.
Fig.19: Ice cleared for skating
Fig.20: Site of the burned down warehouse and Silja Line cruise ship on the background
Fig.21: HSS sailing club courtyard. Club house in the center, on the right the boat shed and on the left the small red apartment.
3.1. LANDING - the expedition // 3.1.2. Landing in reality
Harakka The wind has calmed down when I visit Harakka the following day, after calling the island representative to ask from where I should cross to avoid falling in ice. The best place to go over is also the shortest route and starts from the eastern tip of Uunisaari. The island’s facilities are active all year round, as I can see from the paths trampled by other visitors – I also see others cross over the ice. From my point of view on the ice, Harakka is a mass of odd forms that rise higher than the rest of the islands. These forms are particularly visible now that they are covered in snow and there is no green to cover them up. When I safely reach Harakka on its northernmost point, I head up the wooden stairs, towards the impressive steep cliffs that are visible from Uunisaari and Liuskasaari. At the end of the stairs is a sign that tells how the unique flora has come to the island thanks to the military. I walk in between the man made embankments and look around in awe of the unique feeling of space they create: an obvious mark of man that the nature has slowly started to take back, and at the end of my line of sight is the grandiose main building and a “hobbit home” – with heavy enforcements. This hobbit home on the side of Fig.22: View of the Harakka outline from Uunisaari
the embankment is actually a casemate, which I learn from the sign. I wish I could go in, but the heavy door is obviously locked.(1) I continue my journey towards the cliffs. Unlike the other south-facing bedrocks of the Merisatama islands, there is vegetation and it seems to be quite diverse, though I cannot be sure with the thick coverage of snow. I often fall knee-deep – it’s hard to interpret how the landscape forms underneath the snow. It would have been easier to follow the tracks that others have created. Even though it has been snowing quite heavily during the past few weeks, there are clear paths that indicate active usage. At the southern base of the embankments grows a very tall spruce, which I believe to be planted by man – it is the only spruce in sight.(2) It feels very out of place in this rugged land where stunted birches and pines along with resilient ground level vegetation are dominant. I visit the edge of the conservation area and see a glimpse of sunlight: between the two lone and tall alders, the sun softly tries to shine through the thick layer of clouds.(3)
I turn around and head to the more fertile parts of this island; the alder forest. My sense of scale is distorted as I walk in: I feel very small in between the tall alders and typhas (aka cattail or bulrush), whose articulate forms are very impressive against the white landscape.(4) After the forest I arrive at the sheltered side of the island. All the wooden buildings are located here and together create a small village of sorts.(5) All buildings have their own names, history, features and current use as is told in several signs around this village. It seems that the island’s concept is already thought through to make the most of its history, and to reform its usage to enable the continuity of the island in order to preserve its tale to the generations to come. I close the circle around Harakka by leaving the island from the same spot that I landed on. Just before leaving, I see a peculiar small and rectangular building(6) that is surrounded by vegetation. Its architecture is similar to the main building, but it looks newer and I cannot figure out its use. I leave the island while pondering the story behind this building.
Fig.23.1-6:Pictures from Harakka in March 2018.
Fig.24: View towards the sea, on the far right is the HSS club house.
3.2. GROUNDING - the study SOIL, FLORA AND FAUNA
Where landing happens only once, one can and should ground themselves to the place through multiple visits and study. It is a process of careful research and analysis in order to understand the site.
Seagull (Jon Appelberg) The open and rocky islands Jon erg
This chapter looks into following elements of Merisatama in their own sub-chapters.
j Vel et Ka ki
HISTORY OF MERISATAMA
els fH i
GROUNDING IN VR Screenshots of photogrammetry models
Fig.25: Illustration of the following Grounding part. (P = illustrative photos from pixabay.com under Pixabay License)
Merisatama in 1952 (Veljekset KarhumĂ¤ki Oy) Helsinki city plan 1820 (City of Helsinki)
MERISATAMA ACTIVITIES There are multiple possibilities for exercise, leisure, cuisine and taking part in events
INTERVIEW HSS commodore (helsinkisailing.com)
LANDSCAPE MICROCLIMATE STRUCTURES and VIEWS
OFFICIAL VISIONS AND PLANS
Helsinki 2050 plan
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.1. Grounding in VR
3.2.1. Grounding in VR Grounding is a process of searching for information, and most of the information regarding Merisatama is either in written form or 2D images and maps. Trying to study them in virtual reality for the sake of the topic of this thesis would artificial. Probably due to both the conventional methods and the available technology, aerial view has been the most common way to assess the site and to manage and overlay information, but aerial footage and 2D "disembody us from the ground and radically flatten its spatial, formal, and temporal complexity", as described by Amoroso and D'Agnone (2016). They suggest that studying the forms, patterns and processes of the geologic ground from the ground level can offer a deeper understanding of the landscape, and its continuing influence on our urban environment, than by using only 2D representations. In Innovations in Landscape Architecture, they present a case study in which they create a 3D model of the land using multiple sources and techniques. (Amoroso and D'Agnone, 2016.)
The technical process of capturing a 3D model Helsinki city offers a 3D-model that can be viewed in VR with Google Earth and downloaded from their website, but its level of detail is too low and deformed for ground level study. In addition, the 3D model depicts summer time Helsinki in 2015, and the tree canopies make intercepting underlying elements and landforms impossible. As the 3D model by Helsinki city is not usable, material for ground level study in VR must be acquired otherwise. Modelling the islands is not worthwhile. (For deeper reasoning why, see the 2nd to 7th paragraphs of 3.3.1.) Other option is to take footage of the islands.
While their case study site is remarkably larger than Merisatama and they focus solely on landform, their idea of assessing the site at the ground level might lead to findings that are not easily recognizable from an aerial perspective. This proposal of ground level assessment of forms also fits well to the concept of virtual reality and could produce better results than merely interpreting a 3D model from a 2D screen.
While normal cameras can only capture the point of interest in the picture, a good 3D model gives a sense of space, material and texture and shows the point of interest in relation to its surroundings. This can also be partially achieved also with 360Â° cameras, but their fish eye lenses distort dimensions in the resulting 360Â° pictures.
In an attempt to seek alternatives for this conventional 2D study, this chapter tries to produce a 3D model of the site that can be used in virtual reality during "Grounding" and also later phases of the "Four trace concepts".
In an effort to obtain a more detailed model of the site, a drone was used to take aerial video footage while circling one island at a time. Uunisaari was
recorded in March and Liuskasaari and Sirpalesaari in June. These videos were then cut into individual pictures and brought into a photogrammetry software called RealityCapture, which analyses the pictures to create a 3D point cloud model. This point cloud can then be used again to generate a continuous surface of polygons, which has a higher level of detail than the Helsinki 3D model. However, there is also more small noise or inaccuracies on the surfaces and the resulting file is very large. As the drone has been circling its designated point, the level of detail lessens towards the edges of its vision and the edges can become distorted or even badly deformed. These distortions can and is advised to be roughly fixed in an 3D modelling software like e.g. Blender or 3DS Max, because otherwise they might take one's attention away from the actual features of the site. More careful editing is not effective at this point, because the model is part of the information gathering process and the distorted information is already unusable. Trying to fix that is nothing more than making enlightened guesses of reality and is too time consuming. The model should be used for the parts that have a sufficient level of detail.
Practical notes on recording conditions Time of the year and weather turned out to be very important when recording material for the 3D model with a drone. Uunisaari video was recorded on a cloudy and calm day, which produced very homogeneous pictures and ultimately a good model. Recording outside the growing season with no snow cover allowed the camera to capture landforms and elements also under the trees and bushes. The first attempt to record Liuskasaari and Sirpalesaari was cut short by strong winds. They were finally recorded on a sunny summer day. Buildings and trees cast strong shadows and the forms and materials inside them are unclear. The vegetation prevented the camera from seeing inside the tree canopies. Only the sunny, open parts of the model had enough accuracy for use. Conclusion and outlook to future possibilities
Fig.27 RealityCapture screenshot of Sirpalesaari. On the left (Fig.26) are the pictures which the software has aligned according to its interpretation of their viewpoint (circle above the point cloud) and calculated a point cloud from them (Fig.27).
The resulting 3D surface can be brought to a game engine like Unreal Engine and view it with a virtual reality headset. RealityCapture cannot decipher scale, so the model must be manually scaled with the use of reference points like distances between piers. Scaling by hand will always be inaccurate and must be done very carefully to avoid mistakes â€“ even a slightly off scale could possibly change the VR experience greatly. With these weaknesses in mind, the resulting 3D model has a better accuracy than the 3D model by the city of Helsinki. However, the level of detail is not enough by itself. In order to interpret this model right, one has to know the actual site.
Already these photogrammetry models can be used to trigger memories of the place in question, even though their level of detail varies and most of the time is insufficient for using as an actual reference for analysis. The acquired model will be used as such in this thesis: a refreshment of the author's memory of the islands.
Currently the best use for this model is to "rediscover" the place. Studying only 2D material of the place during "Grounding" might cause the memory of spatial experience to fade, even though the designer has been attentive during "Landing".
These kinds of capturing technologies to create realistic 3D models is constantly advancing, and they can become very useful for landscape architects, especially when the site is far away and/ or difficult to access. Instead of taking time to travel, the designer can just put on VR goggles and enter the site.
Photogrammetry does support even more detailed mesh creating, but this would require a meticulous recording and patching process. For the 3D model to work for grounding, the area should be recorded entirely with the same level of detail to avoid imbalance in emphasis. The result couldn't be utilised, because it is too information heavy to modify or even smoothly run in any software due to the size of the islands.
In the future these 3D site models can be integrated to the entire "Grounding" process to serve as a visual databank and a designer's personal notebook which can be experienced in virtual reality. This requires the capturing technology (photogrammetry, LiDAR scanning, or some other new alternative) to advance so that these 3D models are accurate. In addition, the amount of initial data available in 3D and the capability of software to enable easy handling and modification of these models is important to make the designer's work flow more efficient.
3.2.2. The history of Merisatama This chapter goes through the history of Merisatama by reviewing old maps, photos, aerial pictures, plans and online material provided by the city of Helsinki and other descriptive articles from newspapers and reports. The city of Helsinki, established in 1550 (City of Helsinki), is a fairly young city on European standards. And, even though Merisatama is right next to the center, its noteworthy history does not stretch any further than 200 years. The use of the area has varied between industrial, bathing and maritime activities, sometimes even overlapping with each other, until Merisatama became the capital seafront for leisure and past-time activities in 2010s. KAUPPATORI
i rd va le
Fig.28: right: Helsinki 1820 city plan. (Places named as they are known today.) Johan Albrecht Ehrenström
Kartalla nyt 250 m
©Sito Aineistot: © Helsingin kaupunki
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.2. The history of Merisatama
Merisatama shoreline The Helsinki shoreline in front of the Merisatama islands has gone through different phases, each of which has left a mark on its landscape. In 1820 Helsinki city plan focused on the areas that are now perceived as downtown Helsinki – the areas around Bulevardi and Esplanadi roads and Kaartinkaupunki area. The southern shoreline was left as it is, but soon it was again necessary to define and update the plan, partially because of the new Kaivopuisto seaside bathhouse. The popularity of the bathhouses was on the rise, and Kaivopuisto park was a very suitable location: far enough from the city, but easily and quickly accessible from both land and sea. (Vihreät Sylit, 2018.) Kaivopuisto bathhouse became a very popular destination for both Finnish and Russian higher classes immediately after its opening in 1838. Its popularity started to wane after 15 years due to the Crimean war in 1854, the cholera epidemic and the end of the overborder travel ban. (Vihreät Sylit, 2018.) For a moment Kaivopuisto was back in favour, when an industrial exhibition fair was held in Kaivopuisto park in 1876, to which 93 000 tickets were sold. Even the emperor Alexander II visited the fair with his closest family. This was the first fair held in Finland, and over the time Kaivopuisto park has repeatedly proved to be suitable for big events that attract a considerable amount of people. (Vihreät Sylit, 2018.)
Fig.29: 1900 guide map. F.Liewendal´s lith. tryckeri
In the above guide map of 1900, the harbour railway is shown to go very close to water in Merisatama. It goes also past the original swimming facilities of Helsingfors Simsällskap swimming club at Ursininkallio. Fig.30: 1909 Helsinki guide map. Helsingin kaupungin rakennuskonttori
The rental contract for the park ended in 1885 and Helsinki city made it open for the public. The park needed renovation to serve better the new residents around its vicinity and a plan was formed in 1891 by Svante Olsson. Olsson’s plan gave form to the current figure of the park. (Vihreät Sylit, 2018.) Up to this point Merisatama’s immediate waterfront had been left quite as it is. Apartment buildings had risen a bit further up from the shoreline according to the city plan. In 1893 the Satamarata (eng. harbour railway) that linked all notable Helsinki harbours was continued from Hietaniemi harbour to Merisatama, and in two years it was extended to Katajanokka via Kaivopuisto and Kauppatori (Pohjapalo, 1990).
Fig.31: 1932 aerial picture. Helsinki city survey services
Fig.32: 1950 aerial picture. Helsinki city survey services
Fig.33: 1997 aerial picture. Helsinki city survey services
Fig.34: 2001 aerial picture. Helsinki city survey services
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.2. The history of Merisatama
Fig.35: 2017 aerial picture. Helsinki city survey services
The aerial pictures show how the waterfront has been under constant alteration. First the shoreline was filled to extend it towards the sea and to gain more space for a promenade, which is later extended to the west. Old villas and Kaivopuisto bathhouse have disappeared in the 1950 aerial picture, and the next new building to emerge on the shoreline, 47 years later, is Café Carusel.
The aerial pictures around the change of millennia show well the practises that try to fit and coexist on the waterfront: the railway, water sports and leisure activities (i.e. mini-golf, picnic, playing fields, waterline promenade). The boats occupy a great amount land during off-season storing. When the railway had been inoperative for twenty years, the pressure rose to transform the seafront to serve its users: sailors and landlubbers seeking leisure activities.
In 2007 the development plan for Eiranranta and Merisatama shoreline was published by the Helsinki building administration. In 2011 the new waterfront park is finished, freed from the boats and industrial restraints. In addition to the common park features like grass fields, playing fields and benches, the supply of more specific activities is very diverse: mini golf, a skate park, a children playground, playing fields, cafés, padel fields and dog parks. (Härö et al., 2007.)
The islands In the 1880s Helsinki started to industrialise rapidly and consequently develop as a harbour city. Until then the Merisatama islands had been left as they are and only the most luscious of them, Uunisaari, had been used for grazing. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996.) Both Uunisaari and Sirpalesaari has been bases for industrial activity due to their very fire-proof nature: mostly rock and surrounded by water. Ironically Liuskasaari has been the one to suffer most from fires even though it has only been in recreational water sport use during the fire accidents.
Fig.36 up left: Uunisaari islands from the direction of Kaivopuisto cliffs in 1910s. Sakari PĂ¤lsi, Helsinki City Museum
Fig.37 down left: Postcard of Liuskasaari and Uunisaari in 1952. In the middle is the race track and diving tower, to the right the renovated factory and behind it the beach. Veljekset KarhumĂ¤ki Oy, Helsinki City Museum
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.2. The history of Merisatama
Uunisaari In 1876 the animals had to step aside when first agricultural warehouses, and after a rental contract transfer in 1876, both a varnish factory and a coffin workshop were built on Uunisaari. For fifty years the factory operated on both the Northern and Southern Uunisaari island and even had its own railway connecting the two. The first step towards the current era of recreational clubs and activities on Merisatama islands had already been taken with rental of Liuskasaari by the Helsingfors Sägelsällskap sailing club in 1896, and the march continued when Helsinki city decided to rescind the rental contract with the factory regarding the Uunisaari shoreline and rent it forward to the Helsingfors Simsällskap swimming club, which had been looking for cleaner swimming waters. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996) The shoreline was extended with additional sand, a new race track with a diving tower was built and the newest factory building on Southern Uunisaari was renovated to serve the new Uunisaari swimming facility that was opened in 1934. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996) A ticket sale stall and shelter were built next to the brick buildings in 1940 for the Olympic games and are now protected by the city plan along with the factory’s brick buildings. The factory continued to operate on the Northern island only for a while longer in the original brick buildings, separated from the swimming activities with a fence. When the Southern swimming facility burned down in 1963, the swimming club could conveniently transfer to the old factory facilities on the Northern island. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996) (Suunnittelukeskus Oy ja Arkkitehtiryhmä A6 Oy, 2001)
The swimming facility was very popular for thirty years, but then the race track and diving tower were deconstructed in 1970s. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996) The old factory buildings had basically been a place to change to swimwear and nothing else, run by the swimming club that also provided lifeguards to the beach. In 1998 the renovation and expansion of these brick buildings was started to facilitate a restaurant and rentable saunas by a private company. The new restaurant stirred a need for a plan for the islands, and it was published in 2001 by a city administrative. According to the plan, the swimming club moved to the old ticket stall and shelter which they renovated to serve as changing rooms for the swimming club and as a kiosk. The city in turn built public supporting facilities for swimming in 2004: next to the old factory rose changing rooms with toilets and showers. (Meriluoto, 2017) (Suunnittelukeskus Oy ja Arkkitehtiryhmä A6 Oy, 2001). Liuskasaari Before the rental contract with Helsingfors Sägelsällskap (HSS) sailing club in 1896, the rocky shores of Liuskasaari and Liuskaluoto were used for drying out fishing nets. The only sheltered and more even surface on the north-east side was used by a carpenter who had his tool shed there. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996.) Many new buildings rose to Liuskasaari soon after the rental contract to serve the sailing club’s needs; a pavilion, a boat shed, piers and a dockyard. In 1904 a water sport festival was held in Liuskasaari as a joint project by Helsingfors Sägelsällskap sailing club, Helsingfors Simsällskap swimming club and
Helsingfors Roddklubben rowing club. It was a huge success and was held three times by this assembly of clubs. This showed the recreational potential of the islands, but it was fully harnessed only after the industrial activity ended on them in 1950s. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996.) In 1920s the Liuskasaari shores were extended and evened out with landfills and a bulwark to protect the boats from waves was built. When the Uunisaari swimming facility opened in 1934, Liuskasaari and Uunisaari created a nice recreational combination revolving around water sport activities. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996.) In 1946 the wooden HSS pavilion burned down, and maybe as a lesson learned, the new pavilion built in 1949 was made of stone. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996) Three years later the 12th summer Olympics brought Finland and Liuskasaari to the world map. The single-handed yachting event was staged in right front of the Helsinki shoreline and Liuskasaari rocks provided the best views to watch the race (Kolkka, 1955). The development towards becoming a full-service marina continued along the years, even though it was not officially registered as a guest harbour until 1990. For example, in 1968 the club house pavilion was enhanced with a sauna. During the same year, oil company Shell built a service station on Liuskaluoto and it is still operating at the same location. Liuskasaari has had its share of fires, the latest happening in 2013, when the eastern boat shed burned to cinder and has not yet been rebuilt. (Hannula, 2013.)
Sirpalesaari At first Sirpalesaari was inhabited by fishermen, but at the end of the 19th century a shipyard with supporting structures was built, which provided a good foundation for the fifty or so boat motor manufacturing years to come (Suomalainen pursiseura, 2013). In 1905, the first boat motor manufacturing company started in Sirpalesaari, but only two years later the factory suffered from a fire and went bankrupt the following year (Rautapää, n.d.). The company was sold and motor manufacturing continued and later widened to boats. New factory halls were built in 1917 to replace the ones damaged in the fire, and one of these halls is still standing and in use by the sailing club e.g. as a boat storage. All the other buildings were demolished two years after Suomalainen pursiseura (SPS) sailing club moved to the island in 1961 and new ones were built to support the needs of the sailing club: a restaurant/ club house, cabins and hygiene facilities. Rock was cut from the north-east corner to gain more space for the shipyard, and it earned five meters of extra space due to a miss-calculation in cutting the west side of the cliff. (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996.) Like HSS club in Liuskasaari, SPS has continued to develop its services. The crane was acquired in 1989 and is very important for the handling of boats, and especially the bigger ones (Suomalainen pursiseura, 2013). In 1995, both Liuskasaari and Sirpalesaari were connected to the municipal water and sewage system via pipes running at the bottom of the harbour (Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 1996).
Fig.38: Aerial picture of Sirpalesaari behind Liuskasaari in 1965. B. Möller, Helsinki City Museum
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.2. The history of Merisatama
Harakka From the Merisatama islands Harakka has been shaped by man the longest and most visibly. Under Swedish rein Harakka was uninhabited and human activity on its soil was related to fishing and grazing. The fortification history of Harakka started when Finland transferred to Russian rule in 1809. Fortifications were built on the islands in multiple phases as a part of the Suomenlinna fortification belt. These fortifications and other buildings include i.e.. The Nikolai battery (1854),barracks for 120 soldiers and a different one for higher officers, and other wooden buildings. (Ryymin, 2014.)
of the new laboratory on the highest point of Harakka started on 1928 and was finished in 1931, where it operated till 1988. The wooden buildings were renovated to laboratory item storage and to housing facilities for the laboratory workers. The defence forces and city of Helsinki made an agreement to transfer Harakka to Helsinki when the laboratory activity would end, and the defence forces gained lands on Northern Haaga in return. In 1989, Harakka was fully transferred to the city of Helsinki and it was opened to the public. (Ryymin, 2014.)
Harakka was moved under the care of Finnish defence forces after Finlandâ€™s achieved independence in 1917. For the next ten years the island hosted a few families and small workshops, but they had to move to make space for the chemistry laboratory. The construction
Helsinki building administration published a development plan for Harakka in 2014 that emphasises the islandâ€™s values as a unique environment both historically and by its flora and fauna. (Ryymin, 2014.)
Fig.39: The bare summit of Harakka in 1920s before the chemistry laboratory. Meyer Max, Helsingin kaupunginmuseo, 1920-1929
3.2.3. Flora and fauna The description of flora and fauna is based on the author's observations on site and her general knowledge of the Finnish natural science. Official reports regarding the nature of Merisatama islands has only been published of the Harakka island. Soil The core of the islands is their bedrock, which has been shaped by the ice age and has and is still slowly rising from the sea. The imminent sea is a very harsh element for life and most of the rocks are still bare, with only some ground vegetation in between the cracks.
Above Fig.40: Cracks and cavities in the rocks of southern Uunisaari have been filled by resilient species. Below Fig.41: The land fill area of the HSS boat warehouse that burned down. The fills consist of crushed stone of different sizes and binding stone dust.
Slowly fertile soil has developed in places with a bit more shelter from the sea due to decomposing and erosion and has enabled growth of more diverse vegetation. Humans have fastened this process when they started shaping the islands with landfills to make them more suitable for their industrial and sailing needs. These landfill areas might have been contaminated by the industrial and harbour activities, which use different kinds of chemicals and fuel (Asemakaavoituspalvelut, 2017). The Uunisaari beach has also been extended with sand fills, but this was done when the swimming facility was transferred to Uunisaari and thus the beach is free from industrial influence. Harakka islands peak, rising 13 meters above the sea, was shaped so that it would serve as a part of the chain of fortification islands at the seafront of Helsinki. The southern parts of the island were left as they are.
Vegetation The vegetation of Uunisaari, Liuskasaari and Sirpalesaari have all been under direct and constant human influence for almost two hundred years and man has shaped the islands and their vegetation to their liking. In northern Uunisaari the centre of the island has been once a home garden, which is still visible from the traditional decorative bushes like roses and syringas that grow high around the old stone foundation. The old brick-laden factory building is currently a restaurant and its keepers are taking good care of the surrounding courtyard, which consists mostly of neatly cut grass and some perennials. The northern island grows many trees of different species: rowans, alders, birches and even lindens, which are undoubtedly planted. The eastern tip is unused and its rocky but cracked surface is growing freely birches and other pioneer vegetation that are still in their early stages. Without care it will ultimately grow shut.
Southern Uunisaari is wilder and mostly open. There are some persistent birches and a group of alders at the northern tip, around the wooden bridge. Otherwise the smooth rocks are covered in moss and low herbaceous vegetation. Liuskasaari is mostly barren rocks and asphalt. The club house courtyard is mostly covered in grass and moss, with a few stunted rowans and mountain pines. At the side of the club house grows rhododendrons and its northern end one bigger tree that belongs to the salix family. At the site of the burned down warehouse grows reeds and other herbaceous vegetation. At the feet of two younger pines grow a bush of beach roses (rosa rugosa) which has been categorized as a harmful foreign species. Liuskaluoto has no notable vegetation.
Fig.42 (upper corner) and Fig.43 (center): Southern Uunisaari is partially very luscious and most park-like of the islands.
Fig.45 (below): The bare surface of Liuskasaari rocks.
Fig.44 (right): Aerial picture of Liuskasaari shows how open the island is. Year 2018 was so dry that the grass and moss has turned yellow.
Sirpalesaariâ€™s base form is a rugged rock sphere, the southern side of which is open to the sea and lacking in vegetation. The northern side, more sheltered from the elements, has started growing shut by pioneer vegetation. Unfortunately, this is the side visible to the sea promenade and it looks very untidy.
of the mainland. The military activities focused around the northern top, which was trimmed from trees and bushes to keep the views open. The Russian soldiers brought grain and fodder seeds during their time and now their germinated descendants have taken over the embankments. (Ryymin, 2014.)
In between the Sirpalesaari sailing club facilities is a inner courtyard with taller trees and a more orderly feel, it has probably been intentionally kept clear of midlevel vegetation.
The southern parts were left as they are and as nonmilitary personnel had no access to the island, the vegetation of these south-facing rocks could develop in peace.
Harakka has a very unique flora that has developed due to its history as a fortification island and its location as a part of the archipelago but in the immediate vicinity
Now both the embankments and southern parts with their rare spectrum of species are protected.
Fig.47: View of Sirpalesaari from the sea promenade.
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.3. Flora and fauna
Wildlife During open waters, the islands are accessible to mammals only by swimming. The writer of this thesis did see a mink in the transporter boat to Uunisaari once in autumn and it could wreak havoc to the nesting birds, if it were to get to the island during the nesting season. Normally the island is habitated mostly by birds and possibly also rodents, which tend to thrive anywhere humans reside. The rocky cliffs are popular nesting places for many different types of waterfowl and most of them coexist peacefully with the sailing club members and others who come to spend their free time on the islands. In Harakkaâ€™s preservation area they can nest completely without human interruptions.
However, seagulls and barnacle geese are very protective of their offspring and will threaten those who get too close to their liking. This is especially a problem on Uunisaari, where the geese and people are spending time on the same beach and grass, and the walkways go either through or past the seagullsâ€™ favoured nesting spots. The great amount of geese droppings on grass surfaces is also a nuisance.
Fig.48: Seagull flying over in Merisatama. Jon Appelberg
Fig.49: Two barnacle geese in front of the HSS club house.
Fig.50: Summer services and activities, a map.
3.2.4. Services and activities The description of services and activities is based on the author's observations and the online service map provided by the city of Helsinki. During the summer season, from May to September, the southern seafront is bustling with life and activities, both free and charged. There are multiple possibilities for exercise, leisure, cuisine and taking part in events. The nearby areas are densely populated, and the shoreline has many city administrated services and activities for the numerous local residents: e.g. dog parks, outdoor gyms, a carpet washing spot. Easy accessibility by private and public transport (car, boat, bus, bike) and proximity to the capital centre increase the potential number of visitors even further, and the amount of possible customers have attracted multiple recreational enterprises to provide services along the shoreline.
skate park beach
official swimming beach
In conclusion the seafront promenade is very lively and full of past-time activities, but also a very popular strolling and jogging path. The water passage between the mainland and the Merisatama islands is also a popular â€œstrolling pathâ€?, and many boats go through it when traveling west or east: it is sheltered from the wind and also good for sightseeing and to be seen.
The Merisatama islands have their own type of activities, and they have their own charter boats in open service for a crossing fee. Uunisaari is a park for the people: a sheltered beach with hygiene facilities and smooth bedrocks, fit for picnics and sun bathing. The Uunisaari restaurant entrepreneurs provide also sauna and catering services. Pihlajasaari fits in the same park for the people category, but is a bit further away and more forested.
Liuskasaari and Sirpalesaari are managed by sailing clubs. The services on these islands revolve around their club related activities like storage, maintenance and social spaces. They have their own club houses that also serve as restaurants during the sailing season. Harakka is its own entity with its concept of culture and nature.
minigolf benji jump sauna festive / events
international cruiser port city bike rack bus line and stops sea promenade
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.4. Services and activities
Off-season services and activities Generally, people prefer indoor activities during the dark and wet winter months. Therefore, from October to April, many of the service providers close their doors. As the city administrated activity locations like playgrounds and fields are there all year round but not maintained during off-season, one can use them with their own discretion. Some of the playing fields are iced for skating, but the Helsinki climate is known to be fickle and most of the time it is too warm for snow or ice. The sailing clubs go entirely silent during off-season and their dockyards fill with boats on winter storage. The only service open during winter is the Uunisaari restaurant and sauna, and the ice diving pool. The islands are accessible by a temporary bridge during off season and it is enough to attract people to walk around the islands, especially in good weather. There has been discussion about making this bridge permanent, but the sailing clubs oppose the idea, as it would block the safest route past Helsinki on strong winds and inconvenience the sailors and boaters who want to access Merisatama. Harakka also quiets down for the winter and has no bridge. The artists working there are dependent on an ice cover in order to reach their ateliers. During ice, locals follow the artistsâ€™ tracks and go for walks around the island.
calisthenics equipment outdoor gym playing field skate park
ice skating field park
sauna festive / events pivoting sledge
international cruiser port city bike rack bus line and stops sea promenade
Fig.51: Winter services and activities, a map.
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.4. Services and activities
3.2.5. Analysis of landscape, structures, views and microclimate Views created by the landscape and its structures and their effect on microclimate, based on the author's analysis of topographic material, Harmaja wind rose and her observations on site.
Fig.52: Analysis of landscape, structures, views and microclimate, a map.
LANDMARKS Structures that are visible from afar and from many directions.
Nearby mainland church towers like Johanneksen kirkko and Agricolankirkko are also visible from afar and are especially important to the Helsinki seafront facade.
1. Sirpalesaari crane 2. Kaivopuisto star observatory 3. Liuskasaari chemistry laboratory 4. (off-map) Suomenlinna lighthouse and church tower
MAIN VIEWPOINTS Long views open towards the sea from numerous points along the sea promenade and on the islands. The key views that open at the end of a road or from high rocks are shown on the map.
At Merisatama the sea views from the promenade (highlighted in yellow) are restricted to the closest islands, which are hiding behind the docked boats. The boats distract those strolling by, and they have only a few changes to gaze at the islands without obstructions.
And even then it is most likely that they see only more boats. From the structures, Skiffer is closest and the most visible. One can catch a glimpse of Uunisaari and Liuskasaari buildings only from the compass square.
CLIMATE The islands and the shoreline are ideally positioned in relation to the sun, and they bathe in sunlight throughout the day, if it emerges from behind the clouds. The wind rose measured at Harmaja, a lighthouse five kilometers south from Merisatama, shows that the wind blows the strongest and most often from south-west, from where it can blow without obstructions.
The sailing clubs are counting on the sea wind, but it is not as appreciated as an element in outdoor stay and leisure. During strong winds the entire sea promenade is very unpleasant. The harsh elements of the islands - the rocks, the wind and the sea - are very inhospitable to life and only very resilient surface vegetation survives on these rocky
shores. More diverse vegetation and trees can only be found in the places sheltered by landforms or structures, where fertile soil has either slowly developed or most often has been brought there by man. Many of these places are also well suited for outdoor stay and leisure, like for example the beach and inner parts of Northern Uunisaari, north-east side of Liuskasaari and the inner parts and the dockyard of Sirpalesaari.
FORMS The contour lines represent the land forms by every 0,5 meters. The lines in black are above the sea level (zero) and correspondingly the white lines are below.
Merisatama area is rocky and its peaks rise quite high, the highest of which is at Kaivopuisto, at 20,6 meters above the sea level. Large quantities of land has been needed to smoothen the shores to make them more easy to utilize by the industry. The sea floor deepens quite quickly and is deep enough for hundreds of meters long cruise ships to dock at the heart of Helsinki, but Merisatama harbour is quite shallow and not accessible by boats with a deep keel.
As a pre-emptive measure against sea floods, Helsinki follows the official environmental guide which recommends that all constructions (that do not float) should rise at least 2,8 meters above sea level (Parjanne and Huokuna, 2014). Of current buildings only Skiffer does not meet this requirement. For possible new constructions on the shores, this is a challenge that must be solved without creating structures that seem out of place, detached and in no dialogue with the landscape.
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.5. Analysis of landscape, structures, views and microclimate
3.2.6. Merisatama: Official visions and plans This chapter reviews the official visions and plans administrated by the city of Helsinki. Helsinki and the whole metropolitan area is under great pressure to grow and so its expansion and transformation must be carefully planned to avoid unwanted development. As the city grows more dense, the remaining recreational areas become even more important and the significance of investing in their quality has been acknowledged. Helsinki has a considerable amount of shoreline, and it encompasses very closely the heart of Helsinki. This particular feature is so unique that the city wants to emphasise its value - both as a part of the identity of Helsinki and as a foundation for diverse recreational activities (Jaskari, T. et al, 2014). HELSINKI CITY PLAN: Downtown Helsinki (fig.53) Downtown C2 MERISATAMA
Dense downtown that is to be developed as a mixed area of living, commercial and public services, business premises, governing, parks, recreation and exercise services and city culture.
Recreation and green area
The area is developed as a significant recreational, outdoor, exercise, nature and culture destination that is connected to the local green and recreational network and maritime recreational sector.
Maritime recreation and travel area
The area is developed as a significant recreational, outdoor, exercise, nature and culture destination that is connected to mainland green and recreational network.
Helsinki seafront path
Original map: Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto 2016
A seafront path, which brings together the whole maritime sector and stretches through the entire Helsinki region.
Needed railway connection
A possible underground railway connection to Tallinn.
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.6. Merisatama: Official visions and plans
Helsinki 2050 city plan The Helsinki 2050 city plan was published in 2016 and validated 2018 with numerous reports and attachments in order to present a comprehensive and multilateral development plan for the city. The writer of this thesis has taken a part of the city plan map (previous page) and translated relevant markings regarding Merisatama.
Helsinki 2050 city plan: Experiencing the downtown seafront
As can be seen from the map on the left, in the city plan Helsinki downtown is very densely built and mostly in direct contact with the waterline. In Merisatama the city ends to a green recreational zone, which extends over the water to the Merisatama islands. This is the only recreational area this vast and this close to the city center, and of such maritime nature. It is along the Helsinki seafront path, which is a key concept in enhancing the Helsinki shoreline and connecting all of its features together.
Parking lots must be moved to free the shores or recreational use.
Seaside paths have activities but also more quiet spots.
Public water transport and harbours broaden travel and recreational possibilities.
The maritime facade and low city center are distinct features of Helsinki and part of Helsinki’s national landscape.
In the additional report Kantakaupungin ja ydinkeskustan kehittäminen (eng. Developing downtown Helsinki and the city center) the downtown seafront is briefly assessed. The report describes the seafront development goal to be the its extensive public use and contiguous seaside paths. To achieve this;
(Jaskari, T. et al, 2014:18)
UNESCO World Heritage A bit to the east, behind Harakka, is the main group of fortification islands, named Suomenlinna. Suomenlinna is an UNESCO world heritage property and has a vast buffer zone, which includes all of Kaivopuisto, Merisatama and Hernesaari. The buffer zone is exists to protect the most important views and areas that are functionally important to Suomenlinna, and the buffer zone must be taken into account when planning Merisatama development. Fig.54: Buffer zone for Suomenlinna. UNESCO World Heritage Convention
Helsinki 2050 city plan: VISTRA vision
VISTRA: development guidelines
Helsingin viher- ja virkistysverkoston kehittĂ¤missuunnitelma VISTRA (eng. Development plan for the green and recreational infrastructure of Helsinki) is part of the Helsinki 2050 city plan. In VISTRA, the vision for green and recreational infrastructure of Helsinki is described as follows.
The writer of this thesis has taken parts of two of VISTRA theme maps and translated them (on the right and below) to help understand the following paragraphs.
can also play out to be an advantage for Merisatama. Those who want to experience a more authentic archipelago feel steer their prows to Merisatama guest harbour.
According to VISTRA Maritime Helsinki map, Merisatama and its islands are along the downtown sea promenade, which then again is part of the seaside path that conforms the Helsinki shoreline from East to West. It is described as a path that brings together the whole maritime sector.
In the cultural landscape map Uunisaari is defined as a commoner park and the other islands as special areas, but their speciality is not further explained. This classification probably suggest their special use as hubs for sailing club activities (Liuskasaari and Sirpalesaari) and fortification islands (Harakka along with Suomenlinna).
Recreational areas are an attraction and strengthen the identity of Helsinki. They offer various free, healthy and safe services and experiences throughout the year. These recreational areas are envisioned as lively, but it is also possible to experience the peace and quiet at the seafront and islands. The typical landscape characteristics of Helsinki and smaller local areas, like the coexistence of the built and natural environments, and the connection between the sea and forest, are preserved and enhanced. The cultural landscape heritage and new development live in harmony so that the layers of time are preserved and visible as part of the developing cityscape, and the most valuable targets are renovated as attractions that are part of the local identity.
The islands itself are areas of recreation and travel and at their immediate vicinity are water transportation connections and a maritime maintenance point. Interestingly, Hernesaari (after construction, see plan on p. 46) and Pihlajasaari are defined as guest harbours, but Merisatama islands are not, even though Merisatama islands have potential to become a noteworthy guest harbour alongside these two. The new Hernesaari guest harbour will undoubtedly be bigger and have a broader palette of services and state of the art facilities, but this
(Jaakkola, M. et al, 2016)
VISTRA also states that harbours and their winter storage areas must be built and maintained with high quality and they must not prevent recreational use of the waterfront. (Jaakkola, M. et al, 2016) VISTRA THEME MAP: CULTURAL LANDSCAPE (Fig.55)
These diverse areas and their own distinctive elements encourage different types of people to live, travel and do business. Especially important is to provide locals with possibilities to be active and be part of the community by participating in e.g. urban gardening and events. These areas pursue ecological, social and financial sustainability. They provide ecosystem services; diverse habitats and a good quality of life. They are easily accessible and are part of a bigger green network, of which also the capital archipelago is a part of. Its maritime services are developed and the accessibility of the islands is improved.
The chain of views towards the sea from the promenade has been emphasised, but currently its potential has not been fully utilised: currently the piers and their boats block the views in Merisatama.
A park or square typical to its era Boulevards, line of trees Main historical street outlines Commoner parks MERISATAMA
Special areas Historically valuable urban sceneries: View of Helsinki silhouette from the sea Locally notable Helsinki silhouette panoramas The sea promenade
from which opens the most significant
chain of sceneries for Helsinki identity
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.6. Merisatama: Official visions and plans
HELSINKI 2050 THEME MAP: MARITIME HELSINKI (Fig.56) Recreational area
Small structures and devices that serve the intended use of the area are allowed.
Recreational and travel services area
An area meant for hiking, travel and recreation. Buildings, structures and devices that serve the intended use of the area are allowed.
Year-round maritime living
Year-round maritime living area based primarily on functional ferry or rail transport.
Helsinki seafront path
A seafront path, which brings together the whole maritime sector and stretches through the entire Helsinki region.
Need for water transport connection
Water transport connection needed for commuter and/or recreational traffic. When linked to the mainland public transport, these connections will serve living, working and pastime related activities and to improve the accessibility of the sea and archipelago.
Water transport access point
A connection and maintenance pier supporting the archipelago infrastructure. Spaces, devices and structures serving year-round maritime activities can be built in its vicinity.
A strategically important point to connect the sea to the mainland public transport.
An area with buildings and functions that provide maritime services and communal technical and energy maintenance and oil leakage prevention.
Maritime maintenance point
Maintenance points with structures and ramps to support maritime activities.
A guest harbour that provides diverse recreational, travel and maintenance services.
The harbour area is developed as a international hub of connections and harbour, employment, industrial and service activities. Spaces and devices necessary for aforesaid activities can be built in the area and the area can be also extended towards or above the sea.
3.2. GROUNDING - the study // 3.2.6. Merisatama: Official visions and plans
Merisatama plan The new proposed Merisatama plan by the City of Helsinki is built upon the existing sailing and harbour activity on the islands and focuses on enhancing them with subtle improvements. The plan is not yet valid. In the new plan, SPS sailing club may extend its Sirpalesaari dockyard by cutting the rock(1), and build a new sauna(2) on the western end of the old warehouse, to the spot that the writer of this thesis also noted as potential during landing. The temporary buildings of Skiffer on Liuskaluoto will have to give way to the new multifunctional building(3), which will contain a restaurant, a gas station and utility spaces for the users of the guest harbour and HSS sailing club.
The biggest change will be the new southern harbour extension(4) between Sirpalesaari and Liuskasaari, which will serve the boats that are too big to sail and dock inside the current Merisatama harbour. The plan proposes new cabins of maintenance, lodging and sauna besides this extension, on the Liuskasaari dockyard. This has been also in the old plan, but has never been realised. The new harbour extension with its associated constructions will change the views from the sea: a new bulwark and the big boats with their tall masts will be the most visible changes, but also the new cabins, HSS club house terrace extension and two new saunas, one on Sirpalesaari and one on Liuskasaari cliffs(5) will add to the changing panorama.
The burned down warehouse has left HSS sailing club in dire need of storage space. The new warehouse(6) is aligned perpendicular to the bulwark and positioned on the spot where the bleacher for the swimming tracks used to be. The plan proposes a stage at its side for holding small events or performances. There are no changes for Uunisaari in the new plan except for a new pier(7) close to the kiosk for guest access. All in all, Merisatama islands keep their low-key sailing and recreational identity, which will undoubtedly serve its purpose on the short term, but does not answer to the long term visions of Vistra and Helsinki 2050, especially when compared to the grandiose plans for Hernesaari as the new hub for maritime activity. (Asemakaavoituspalvelut, 2017)
Fig.57: Current valid plan of the Merisatama islands. City of Helsinki
7 3 1
Fig.58: Newest draft of the Merisatama plan, published in Autumn 2017. Asemakaavoituspalvelut
Hernesaari plan The land rental contracts are at their end for the industrial operators in Hernesaari, and this opens a possibility for the city to develop the area and give it a new purpose. The new proposed Hernesaari plan is designed to create residences for 7 600 people and 3 100 new jobs, expand the tourist ship harbour(1), create a new sailing centre(2) and continue the seafront promenade(3). This will generate more users for the local services, but it will also possibly shift the focus towards Hernesaari and make the mainland services even more attractive – how can the Merisatama islands keep their competitivity against that? Especially the new sailing centre must be taken into account by the existing Merisatama sailing clubs – they should avoid overlaps in services and instead try to focus on their distinctive strengths. The sailing centre is planned to become a hub for competitions, training, maintenance and storage and also have guest harbour services. The scale is bigger and the facilities modern, which will attract bigger masses and tourists. Merisatama islands could take advantage of their smaller scale: the communality and the sense of archipelago. This could be especially attractive in the eyes of the locals and those who want to avoid “tourist traps”.
Fig.59: Hernesaari plan illustration. Asemakaavoituspalvelut
3. CASE STUDY - MERISATAMA // 3.2. GROUNDING - the study
3.2.7. Interview with HSS sailing club commodore After examining these new plans, the writer of this thesis realised that a better understanding of the sailing club activities and the requirements for their continued existence on Merisatama was needed.
depth of up to 4,5 meters, a new bulwark(4) and a pier is necessary on the southern side of the islands. Stelander admitted that he did not know what the actual function of the adjacent cabins would be.
HSS sailing club’s commodore Mikael Stelander was interviewed in September 2018 at Liuskasaari. The interview was a pre-scheduled face-to-face open discussion to which the author had prepared some questions regarding the club activities and the new Merisatama plan draft.
The most expensive new construction will be the new multifunctional building(3), which will keep its functions as a restaurant and a gas station and in addition serve visitors of the guest harbour and provide the sailing club with applicable spaces. Modern spaces would be very welcome: the current club house is very expensive to maintain during winter and the pipes tend to freeze, making year round activity at least unprofitable, if not impossible. Drawings for the new building are finished, but they do not yet know where to find the millions to build it.
Helsingfors sägelskap (HSS) is a notable sailing club with 1300 members, and according to the commodore, their docking pier for classic wooden yachts is concurrently the finest exhibition of such boats in Finland. They provide their members with berths on their piers, maintenance and storage services, social spaces and hygiene facilities, latter of which are also included in their guest harbour services. HSS is very enthusiastic about the new plan by City of Helsinki, and while they do not yet have adequate funding to actualize it, it is important for their continued activity. The following numbers point to the map on the previous spread. Perhaps the most pressing need is for the new warehouse(6) which will replace the one that burned down. After its completion they will again have enough storage facilities. Currently only boats with a keel depth of less than 2,5 meters can enter Merisatama, which is unfortunate for a proud classic yacht club. To host boats with a keel
Another future project with no timetable is the sauna on the cliffs of Liuskasaari. It has been long asked for by some. Others see it ruining the view of the rocks from the direction of the sea.
welcome, but he assures that they wish for people to come to Liuskasaari. Stelander welcomes the development on Hernesaari and is happy that the Nyländska Jaktklubben sailing club will move to the Hernesaari harbour. He is not concerned about possible competition between harbours or clubs, but states that development of Hernesaari will hinder their sailing arena. The high buildings will be in the way of the main wind direction, and effectively block the wind from the area that they previously used for sailing courses. The new buildings are not a threat to sailing competitions, for which the conditions are exceptionally good to be so close to the mainland. The only big hindrance is an underwater rock about one kilometer south from Liuskasaari, but it is only a problem during south winds. Stelander wishes that Helsinki city would remove the rock in the future. (Stelander, 2018)
When asked about the Suomalainen pursiseura SPS sailing club, Stelander tells that they do not work together despite their closeness. His impression is that SPS wants to stay on its own and be a more moderate club. What does HSS want to be, then? Active and visible. In Stelander’s vision Merisatama would be the living room of Southern Helsinki, like Sandhamn in Sweden; a well-functioning harbour with enough activities and good services to keep visitors busy for days, all the while enjoying the beauty of the archipelago. HSS’s role in this would be very active and visible. Stelander acknowledges that currently their club seems a bit closed in and it is not clear whether outsiders are
Fig.60: HSS Sailing club emblem. HSS
3.3. FINDING - the conclusion To create an easily comprehensible thesis structure, the previous two phases of the "Four trace concepts" have been presented under their own topics, but in between the landing, grounding and finding, the work has in fact been an iterative process, where findings made in landing and grounding have resulted in more grounding and so forth. When the gathered material in grounding is perceived sufficient, careful analysis of this information will ultimately lead to a conclusion - Finding the key factors and result in the design question being crystallized.
3. CASE STUDY - MERISATAMA // 3.3. FINDING - the conclusion
3.3.1. Finding in VR This thesis has previously noted that the utilisation of VR during the design process should be effective. This chapter discusses where VR is currently applicable and justifies the decisions made regarding the utilisation of VR during this thesis process. One shouldnâ€™t change equation in the middle of calculation: if the grounding material is in 2D, the findings should be in 2D. The following paragraphs will elaborate this claim. The accessible information about Merisatama is mostly in a written form or 2D graphics, and their analysis in 3D and VR as they are would be artificial. However, it is possible to convert most of this information to 3D by modelling it and then bring it to a VR supporting game engine. What limits this conversion is the amount of resources; the larger and more detailed the model, the more time and finances it consumes. Furthermore, when converting to 3D, one has to be careful not to be blinded by the details of the trees and lose sight of the forest. When working with 2D, designers are aware that their information is not encompassing and have learned to navigate through uncertainty. 3D is always more informative than 2D, and in order to do the conversion from 2 to 3, one has to interpret the +1 dimension and add the needed information according to those interpretations. The resulting 3D model looks more real and informative, but is not any more than the original combination of 2D information. Therefore, the 3D model cannot be used without a grain of salt unless the modeller has meticulously gathered the needed +1 information through multiple visits to the site.
This raises the question whether the 3D modelling process and use of virtual reality for grounding and finding is necessary. The following paragraphs will elaborate how it depends on the task and the site in question. Virtual reality experiences might be useful in smaller scale sites where the space is "tangible". Larger areas are either hard to comprehend from a land restrained perspective or totally impossible to interpret due to the low resolution (the amount of pixels in each dimension) of the available VR headsets. Low resolution turns faraway objects to pixelated masses, but it is improving alongside the technology. For the 3D model to work for finding, the area should be modelled entirely with the same level of detail to avoid imbalance in emphasis. This is currently feasible for areas the size of apartment building lots, and BIM models are becoming more and more common in residential construction. Due to the lack of immediately usable 3D material, modelling anything bigger would be very time consuming and not an efficient way to work for a landscape architect at this time. For that reason, Merisatama will not be modelled for grounding or finding.
In addition to the former reason, using 3D modelling or virtual reality for founding is not advisable for larger areas due to the excessive amount of information. The concept â€“ the big picture, the collective idea â€“ must be coherent or simple even, so that it can work as a guiding thread during the design process. A realistic 3D model or a VR experience is too rich in information to be used for management of broader concepts when defining this guiding thread. In accordance to the former arguments, the modelling will come later in the process and focus on a specific place of interest under development. Outlook to future possibilities In the future the technology has advanced so that 3D information is more common and converting the remaining 2D information to 3D will be easier. There already has been studies of using GIS and scripting to produce 3D interpretations of geo-referenced information and using it in simulations to study the spreading of hostile weeds (Ghadirian and Bishop, 2008). Until such advancement in technology, the writer of this thesis recommends handling information of large areas in 2D, and after founding the concept, focus the modelling and VR work on certain points of interest that require closer study.
3.3.2. Concluding Findings from Grounding The following chapter will summarise the key findings during "Grounding". Merisatama has been under constant change since the relatively young city of Helsinki expanded to its shores. The islands have been modified with a strong hand to serve the needs of the current occupant â€“ were they industrial, sailing or bathing. Harakka is its own entity which belongs better to the Suomenlinna fortification chain than in the definition of Merisatama islands. The island should be addressed as such and will be left outside of the development area of the case study of this thesis. A typical direction of development is for cities to form close to or around industrial sites until they close on them and the industry has to relocate. Merisatama went through this same transformation from industrial to recreational, more precisely to sailing and bathing. The industry did not leave without traces: old buildings and possibly contaminated land(fills) were left behind. Only Hernesaari still hosts industrial activities, but not for long. Soon only traces of its industrial activity will be left behind, as in all of Southern Helsinki seafront: i.e.. the old factory buildings, the alignment of the dismantled railway and landfills. These remnants are part of the historical layers of Helsinki and important for local identity.
Now Merisatama islands are in recreational use and they are maintained in the light of those activities. The windy climate is favourable for sailing, but not so much for leisure and stay. Therefore, these leisure activities focus on more sheltered spots, which each of the islands have. Areas not in use are left as they are, and if the circumstances are good enough to sustain vegetation, they will overgrow and create unruly spots that are unfit to represent the capital seafront faĂ§ade.
Fig.61 (next page): Illustration of the 3.3.3. basis for development - the aspects to be taken into account during creation of the concept for design.
These islands are right next to the mainland but hidden behind the rows of boats. The matter of visibility and attractiveness is a challenge for the islands: how can they increase their visibility and accessibility and upgrade their services throughout the year, so that they are not left in the shadow of the extensive supply of services along the sea promenade? This challenge grows even more imminent when the construction of Hernesaari is finished, which adds even more services and a new harbour with modern facilities to the mix. In the vision of the Helsinki city plan, the sea promenade is in regular recreational use by the public and along its route are multiple and diverse recreational services and also places for peace and quiet. The vision does not include how this will be accomplished, as it is meant to be solved in closer scale planning. However, the new plan in progress for Merisatama island adds only some adjustments and enhancements to maintain the current situation and to keep the occupants happy, as could be noted from the interview with the HSS commodore. This will undoubtedly serve its purpose on the short term, but does not answer to the long term visions of Helsinki 2050 and Vistra, especially when compared to the grandiose plans for Hernesaari as the new hub for maritime activity with broader palette of services and state of the art facilities. After the careful "Grounding" process of research and analysis, the resulting insight is that the islands need a strong identity under which each occupant can carry out their own activities, while working in unison to live up to their position and reputation as the capital seafront.
This identity will come from a comprehensive concept for the islands, the design of which will be built on the basis identified during Grounding and then defined in Finding.
3.3.3. Summary - the basis for development The basis for the development plan of Merisatama islands: 1. The islands to be addressed in the plan will be Uunisaaris, Liuskasaari and Sirpalesaari. 2. The layers of history and the capital archipelago are an important part of Merisatama's identity. 3. The visage and usage of Merisatama should fit its location as the valued capital seafront. 4. Visibility, accessibility and the services and activities of Merisatama play a key role in staying in the competition and serving the vision of the Helsinki city plan, and they should be developed accordingly. Concluding the use of VR during these preceding phases; virtual reality shows promise, but lacks the advancements in technology, both hardware and software and available 3D information, in order to be used effectively by landscape architects during the meticulous tasks of research and analysis. In the future virtual reality can be integrated to the entire grounding and landing processes. With VR the designer will be able experience the 3D model of the site and use it as a visual databank and a personal notebook.
3.4. FOUNDING - the concept Founding is the synthesis of the previous three concept phases and takes the form of a conceptual development plan for Merisatama islands. This part introduces the abstract concept for Merisatama development. The concept was formed in accordance to the basis described in the summary of 3.3.3. The founding process stretches over to the following parts of this thesis and might also consist of new findings still, but to create a more descriptive and comprehensive structure for the thesis, it has been divided as its own part ( 4. Designing with VR).
3. CASE STUDY - MERISATAMA // 3.4. FOUNDING - the concept
FOUNDING: THE CONCEPT The concept is based upon the general idea of including the islands more actively and visibly to the coastline experience, as envisioned by the city of Helsinki. The Merisatama islands will become a place where landlubbers and sailors meet and mix â€“ a recreational destination with activities that draw from their strengths like the poetic juxtaposition of the capital and the archipelago and the lively sailing clubs. In general, the hierarchy of the islands is so that the Uunisaaris are a people's ('landlubbers') park with public services and Sirpalesaari a more reserved island with a strong emphasis on sailing club activities. Liuskasaari in between is the zone where the shift from public to private takes place. The nature of their activities will change with the seasons, which are a very tangible part of the islands and the seafront. Description of the concept In order to attract visitors, the islands must be easily accessible, visible from the shoreline and most importantly, have people attracting activities and qualities. Accessibility is improved with a charter boat during the summer(1) and two bridges during winter. One charter boat simplifies the traffic on the islands and all effected parties can focus their efforts to advertise and maintain this one line. During winter the two bridges(13) create a loop that attracts more leisure strollers than a dead end at Sirpalesaari. To achieve better visibility and a feeling of welcomeness, the piers along the seafront promenade will be turned 90Â° degrees(2) to open views that will guide the passerby's line of sight towards the islands. Decorative lighting and interesting structures will be used as eyecatchers to pique interest. A marked path(3) will circle the islands so that visitors know they are welcome to walk around and enjoy the views. The path can also provide information of the history of the islands. To preserve the beautiful natural forms of the rocks, the path might not be thoroughly accessible for all and not always an actual path, but a marked route on the rocks.
The areas that now are left to grow wild will be handled so that overall appearance seems maintained; paths will be cleared, and views opened. Logs for sitting can be positioned in selected places with good views and especially on the southern rocks(4), where one can watch the sea and the sailing competitions. Each island will have at least one place for barbecue along the path. Uunisaari will emphasise its role as a public park and a seaside swimming facility. A new building(5) with modern hygiene facilities and saunas and a diving tower will be an eye catcher from the mainland, and a new playground(6) for children will serve local families and guest harbour visitors.
services. Those accommodations can be rented for example by tourists interested in a capital archipelago experience, companies for meetings, groups for parties or for guest harbour visitors, whose boats are not meant for over-night stay. These accommodations also extend the guest harbour season, as they are still operational when boats become uncomfortable for stay. HSS club is in dire need of storage space, and the replacement for the burned down warehouse will be placed at the edge of the dockyard(9). This provides shelter from the wind, and frees the old warehouse site(10) for other use. The site will become a stage for culture and a place for leisure, a blending point of different users(10). The location has great views both to the sea and the city, where it will also be visible from the sea promenade and work as a landmark. The stage is multifunctional; e.g. performances, plays, concerts, Finnish social dances and education are possible applications among other things. It is one of the few stages that can be reached directly by boat, which will attract guest harbour users and close by summer cottagers. Its central location will possibly interest also landlubbers, also known as Helsinki citizens.
Liuskasaari development puts the needs of sailing club first but also makes it more attractive in the eyes of visitors, which will hopefully lead to more frequent use of the guest harbour and mean more customers for the restaurants.
As described earlier, Sirpalesaari will stay the most reserved island of the three, but its shores will be cleared for the new path and they will have the new sauna(12). In addition, they must keep their dockyard in better order so that no-one will be hurt and appear so it looks overall well-kept.
The new bulwark(7) and the sauna(8) are important for the HSS sailing club, but the new heart of the Merisatama guest harbour is Liuskaluoto with its new multifunctional building(11). It keeps its old functions as a restaurant and a gas station, provide the sailing club with applicable spaces and offers accommodation
During winter the Uunisaari entrepreneurs and the new multifunctional building in Liuskaluoto will serve customers. The new path will be a popular walking route and its barbecue spots are good for the typical Finnish style of sausage barbecue.
Fig.62: A map of the abstract concept for Merisatama development. The scale and placement of the new constructions will become more accurate later on in the design process.
Using the "Four trace concepts" method has led to a general vision for Merisatama development; to a concept that fades the line between sailors and landlubbers and allows them to mix in the middle. In accordance with the topic of this thesis – to study how virtual reality can enhance a landscape architect’s design process – this general vision is brought to virtual reality in order to start the process of outsourcing the mental image that Lynch and Hack speak of.
4. DESIGNING WITH VR
4. DESIGNING WITH VR // 4.1. The first encounter
4.1. The first encounter The goal of this first encounter with designing with VR is to test on an abstract level if the interventions proposed in the concept fit to the site, and how those interventions can be improved with the help of VR. Starting point: acquiring the base 3D model
Developing the spatial features of the concept
Neither the concept nor the base 3D model need to be very refined at this point of initial testing; the concept might even go back to the sketch board. Therefore, acquiring the 3D model used for testing should not take too much time or effort. Using aerial photographs to create 3D models with photogrammetry is a suitable option.
In order to start the process of giving a form to the concept, the islands are recreated on a satisfactory level in Unreal Engine, and abstract representations of the concept are placed on it. This mass model can then be viewed with a VR headset.
Most of the time photogrammetry is a fast technique to obtain a 3D model depicting the present state of the site. Only when the site is to undergo a total makeover, or the schedule is too tight to wait for good capturing conditions, it is not beneficial. In such a case the site should be re-modelled from scratch with a 3D software. Discussion over accuracy While VR makes it easier to perceive distances, and study relations of objects and the spaces created in between, The VR experience should not be thought as an absolutely accurate spatial representation of reality when designing. In a study where participants were first walked through the real facility and then its VR representation, they felt that the VR spaces were more narrow and estimated distances to be longer. This study focused on indoor spaces, but it is possible that these perceived differences will be true for outdoor VR spaces as well. (Kuliga, et al., 2015)
The photogrammetry 3D model of Uunisaari islands was exported from RealityCapture and imported to Unreal Engine. For the rest of the islands, Helsinki City 3D model was used. For further elaboration of the photogrammetry process, see 3.2.1. Grounding in VR. Basic forms representing elements of the concept were added, and their position and size were modified so that they seemed to be in proportion to their surroundings. The scale and nature of these elements was varying: from new buildings to logs for sitting on the cliffs. Then it was time to experience the created environment in VR. It turned out that what looked to work fine on screen was either disproportioned or dislocated or both. This experience on the difference of perceived suitable spatial dimensions between VR and the 2D computer screen is supported by the statement in an article Virtual reality and the built environment that game developers working on small flat screens typically create over-sized spaces, because they interpret spaces to be smaller than they are (Whyte and Nicolic, 2018).
Unfortunately editing in VR is in its infancy, which forces the designer to jump back and forth between the VR environment and the editing interface; between the head mounted display and the flat screen. During this iterative process each and every of the forms were altered. When the quality of the base 3D model is good, it can be used for very precise fine-tuning. In the model created with photogrammetry, the open rocks are relatively accurate due to the lack of notable vegetation that would distort their form in the video capturing process. Using Unreal Engine for this kind of layout study is very easy and intuitive. Basic forms can be placed, stretched, scaled and rotated by grabbing the object and dragging with the mouse. At any time one can put on the head mounted display to try out the feeling of the space these forms have created. In the future the work flow will be even more fluent, when the designer can simultaneously make changes and see the results while in VR.
LIUSKASAARI HSS CLUBHOUSE
SIRPALESAARI NEW WAREHOUSE
PROTECTED FACTORY HALL
NEW FLOATING CABINS
NEW MULTIFUNCTIONAL "SKIFFER" BUILDING
Visualisations of the editing process. Fig.64 (above): Aligning the rooftops of the new buildings (in yellow) to the existing skyline (blue). Fig.65 (below): What seemed the correct height for the stage cover when editing on a 2D display turned out to be too high when viewing it in relation to its surroundings with a VR headset. UUNISAARI
"THE BLENDING POINT"
Fig.66 (below): A high quality 3D model is more informative than a mere 2D aerial picture with contours. This is very helpful for example when fitting elements to existing landforms, like in this case the new fences representing fishing nets that also show a safe path down the cliffs of Liuskasaari. Drawing sections to study the placement is not needed, when the model can be freely rotated and also viewed in VR to assess their composition. This high quality model of the cliffs was created with photogrammetry.
4. DESIGNING WITH VR // 4.1. The first encounter
The result: a refined vision Freely manipulating and evaluating the abstract elements supported the vision, and clarified the placement and character of the structures compared to the rough 2D concept map in chapter 3.4. "Founding". With this method it was possible to discover the connections and relationships with the surroundings that support the desired experience in accordance with the earlier defined vision.
The adjustments focused on fitting the proposed interventions to the site on a generic level. The topics within the concept formed to be as follows. Creating a feeling of welcomeness was an important part of the concept. Therefore the path(3) circling the islands invites people to explore the islands and guides the travellers to beautiful views and easier passage while giving privacy to the new Sirpalesaari sauna(13). Better visibility and increased palette of activities go hand in hand in Merisatama. The low but long Uunisaari swimming facility(5) is visible from the sea promenade and its pier stretches even further from the shore, ending in a diving tower to the sea. The new playground(6) is right beside them on the soft strand of sand.
At the blending point for landlubbers and sailors(10), the stage has taken its place as a connector between Liuskasaari and the small islet, with places for stay and picnic in its proximity. The stage cover is visible from the sea promenade without rising too high above the scenery panorama. Finding a suitable spot can make it feel like the building has always been there, or at least should have been. Liuskaluoto will host the new multifunctional building(11) and supporting facilities for the guest harbour, but the accommodations are floating in the sea: five rentable cabins are docked into the bridge between Liuskasaari and Liuskaluoto. Each of them has their own berth for a visiting boat. The HSS sauna(8) has moved closer to the mass of existing buildings when compared to the original plan in order to preserve the cliffs. The new warehouse(9) has taken its place cornerwise to the boat shed and requires new landfills. Other points (numbers) of development stay as they were in the rough concept phase. In conclusion, the integration of VR into the design phase has shown that it helps to study the spatial composition and qualities in order to make informed design decisions. During this phase, initial conceptual stages were adjusted according to the immersive spatial experience that took into consideration the connections and relationships with the surroundings and light conditions.
Fig.67: The unedited aerial view of the concept model in Unreal Engine.
Fig.68: A map of the refined concept for Merisatama development.
4.2. Further development of a key area This chapter first justifies the selection of one key area for further development and then its advancements are described in the following sub-chapters. In practice, designers often have a certain amount time to work on a task, just like the work on a master's thesis should correspond to a predefined amount of 30 credits, which is approximately 800 work hours. It is important to use this time efficiently by focusing on the aspects that require deeper analysis. These aspects should rise from the expertise of a landscape architect; the careful "Grounding" and "Founding" work. In the refined concept for Merisatama development, many of the proposed ideas are buildings and structures, the size and form of which has been defined on a sufficient level in the mass model. As the thesis is in the field of landscape architecture, the major point of interest in the concept is the "blending point". It is at the site of the burned down warehouse, and is planned to become an outdoor meeting point and a place for culture and leisure in the crux between the sea and the capital. From now on it will go under the working title of "Liuskale".
4.2.1. Advancing the concept model in Unreal Engine The Liuskasaari rocks are an important characteristic for the site, so their presence should be respected and highlighted. Therefore, the photogrammetry model created in chapter 3.2.1. "Grounding in VR" is better suited for further 3D sketching than bare topographic data. The photogrammetry model (.obj) can be used in Unreal Engine but not in Revit due to technical aspects, so 3D sketching will continue in Unreal Engine by zooming in to the site while tolerating the deformations of the photogrammetry mesh. Despite the deformations, the mesh is good enough to refresh memories of the actual site and work as an inspiration for design. The goal of this phase is not to create precise plans, but to have discussion with the landscape by trying out how different elements feel and fit to the place in accordance with the concept. These elements are mere place holders and their final scale, shape and placement will be determined later on in the design process.
The result The starting point for the concept was the different layers of juxtaposing elements on the site, which are quite poetical. Firstly, the context; the location at the crux of the capital and the sea, and secondly the vis-Ă -vis of wind beaten rocks and the more hospitable strip of land, which are separated only by a narrow watercourse. Consequently, they are emphasised in the resulting design. In the design plan, in the center of it all (1) is a 'portal', a means of transition from one to the other or for stopping in between and under its protection to study, or to escape, these elements. This portal becomes a new eye-catcher that is visible from both the sea and the shore, proudly serving as a neutral meeting point for landlubbers and sailors and a stage for diverse activities. On the city side of the new stage is a small building, tightly snugged next to the rock. This building (2), dubbed as "kiska" (eng. kiosk), can support events held at the stage, providing shelter, refreshments, toilets and storage. The net installation (3) on the rugged Liuskasaari cliffs remind of the original use of those rocks for drying out fishing nets, before the sailing club takeover. (See Fig.69 for reference.) At the same time these nets serve as falling protection, and in the dark of the night, they are brought to life as glowing luminaires along with the other special lighting pieces adorning the site.
Fig.69: Fishing nets hung out for drying. Bo Seinknecht.
Opposite to these nets, on the other side of the narrow watercourse, is a small oasis sheltered by the cliffs. This strip of land provides a quiet place for a break or an evening at the fireside (4) with views towards the open sea.
4. DESIGNING WITH VR // 4.2. Further development of a key area
THE SEA - THE CITY
3 2 views towards
the sea views towards
existing trees new tree
ard sK aiv op uis to
Fig.70: The level of detail at which Unreal Engine could be used for developing the original concept mass model further at "Liuskale": main functions and elements and their relations to their surroundings.
4.2.2. Choosing the main and supporting software
4.2.3. In a BIM environment - Autodesk Revit
It was tempting to continue the design process in Unreal Engine, because the interface is so intuitive and the design experience it offers is much more vivid than staring at the 2D lines of a CAD software. While Unreal Engine does have a coordinate and a unit system, it does not have the typical CAD software tools that enable accurate designing, like snapping or measuring distances. Because landscape architects should design memorable but also feasible landscapes, it is important that the design process produces plans that meet the standards for construction.
As stated in the previous chapter, the product of a landscape architect's design process should be both accurate and memorable.
Change is on the way, and Alexander Robinson already calls for a shift of emphasis on our design interfaces. Now that the precise instruments like BIM are here, they should be harnessed to support the imprecise and intuitive synthetic power of the designer, who can then use her creativity to design and take advantage of the accuracy of BIM. In Robinson's view this would result in more "human" environment that would support our health and well-being; one that people can relate to and which reflects our values. (Robinson, 2016.) Hopefully in the future there will be a Landscape Information Model (LIM) software that supports the needs of a landscape designer first, and in addition to accurate designing, connects and solves the current interface problems that currently force the designer to use multiple software. Until then, the design base should be in a CAD program which supports virtual reality applications, and from which the model can be exported to a game engine for further study and development in virtual reality. In this study the main program is a BIM software, Autodesk Revit 2019, with the Enscape real-time rendering and virtual reality plugin. The supporting virtual reality experience enhancer is the game engine Unreal Engine 4.
In the pursue of accuracy, the design created in 4.2.2. for Liuskale will be reconstructed and developed further in Autodesk Revit 2019.
Following data was used to Revit as a base for the accurate 3D model: •
landform point cloud data (.laz), from open Helsinki city map service was imported as a Revit surface
2018 in scale aerial picture (.pdf), from open Helsinki city map service
in scale base map (.pdf), from open Helsinki city map service
preview of architectural drawing prints, from ARSKA-service as a guide for modelling the existing buildings
The level of detail of this data set is sufficient for this case study, more precise measurements should be done for actual construction plans.
Fig.71: 1:200 section view (A-A) from Autodesk Revit
4.2. Further development of a key area // 4.2.3. In a BIM environment - Autodesk Revit
Modelling in Revit The design follows The National Building Code of Finland (Ympäristöministeriö, 2018) and takes into account the precautions for sea floods when building close to water (Parjanne and Huokuna, 2014).
Fig.72: Screenshot of Liuskale plan 1:500 site view, 10 cm contours from Autodesk Revit
After Liuskasaari had been modelled from this base data set, the design from Unreal Engine (chapter 4.2.1.) is reconstructed in Revit, starting from the main elements: the stage, the Kiosk, the grilling place and piers. Then follows the reshaping of the surface. The program took so long calculating the original point cloud data in the editing mode that a new surface with lesser points was created on top for easier levelling. The design accuracy of a BIM software shows the shortcomings of modelling in a game engine. The stage, the kiosk and the grill spot were not positioned high enough to avoid sea flood damages. The main paths had to be realigned so that their width and slope were in accordance with the measurements designated in The National Building Code of Finland. The editing interface of Revit is not as fluent as Unreal Engine, because its prioritises accuracy over intuitiveness, and creating custom objects is very clumsy, so the cover of the stage was modelled in Rhino 6 and exported to Revit. The two Revit views on this page show the design result after the utilisation process of VR via Enscape, which is described on the following page. As can be seen from these two views, Revit in itself is not a very visually expressive program for designing, even though it is very informative and fast for producing plans and sections. Its visual qualities can however be enhanced with plugins such as Enscape.
4.2. Further development of a key area // 4.2.3. In a BIM environment - Autodesk Revit
Using VR with Enscape for design purposes After fixing the contradictions with the design guidelines as described in the previous page, it was possible to focus on the creative and intuitive part of designing: diving into the model to see how the created space felt in VR with the help of the plugin Enscape.
The narrow alignment of the path gave a sense of privacy in VR. The vegetation gives cover from the more lively main route for those who want to sit down for a while on the bench and watch the Liuskasaari cliffs and the net luminaires.
Instead of trying to align the plan so that it looked harmonious from the traditional 2D aerial perspective, the goal was to create a harmonious space in VR.
The shape of the grilling spot guides the gaze towards the Liuskasaari tip and the sea horizon. It is easy to forget the presence of the capital at this point.
All design decisions made while creating this accurate representation of the concept have been based on the study of their spatial impressions in VR. While the National Building Code and requirements for practical usage define many factors regarding the main elements, there is still room left for a designer's touch.
In conclusion, Revit enables accurate designing to give the final form for structures and land, and their spatial qualities can be studied with Enscape. By adding rasters for materials and symbols for vegetation one could create an utilisable plan that can also be experienced in high quality in VR with Enscape. However, leaving the design process to this stage would leave some of the goals of this thesis unfulfilled.
Especially the grilling spot and the small clearing and the path in between are opportune for designing with VR. The area is quite narrow, and VR is well suited for helping with the careful composition of these elements in order to avoid landfills and to preserve the two existing pines. Fig.73: View from the path towards the grilling spot.
In order to rely even less on the mental image and instead try to outsource it more, the 3D model is taken to Unreal Engine.
Enscape is an effective real-time render plugin and very practical for studying the following; â€˘ â€˘ â€˘
Sense of scale through placement and dimensions Composition, the art of placing elements in a functional and aesthetical way Time of the day simulation, a built-in feature in Enscape
The pictures on this spread demonstrate Enscape's rendering power to produce realistic views of the design, but also the difference of visualisation quality between structures and vegetation. The surrounding islands are just masses created from elevation data, and it is difficult to understand the relationship between them and the site from these pictures.
Fig.74: View from the stage bleachers. In front is the islet and the grilling spot, and behind them is first southern Uunisaari and then the high form of Harakka.
Shortcomings and future outlook At the moment, Enscape has a limited library of visualisation materials and vegetation for Revit. The vegetation and materials shown in these pictures should be regarded as place-holders, as representations of scale and placement that try to imitate the spatial presence they would create. The designer has to use her mental image to fill in the missing elements to compensate for these limitations. Also, in order to study the plan in relation to its surroundings, those surroundings would have to be either modelled or inserted as a .rcp/.rcs point cloud file. Now they are just masses created from open elevation data that is compatible with Revit. Modelling the environment or acquiring a compatible point cloud file would not be time-effective, as there is an existing 3D mesh model of Helsinki in sufficient detail. Unfortunately, this mesh cannot be imported to Revit due to incompatibility and processing power issues.
Even though the goal was to use VR to produce a harmonious design, the resulting 2D plans (previous page) look like they could have been drawn in 2D in a CAD software. The reason is the gap in the work flow between editing interface and VR: The designer first takes a look inside VR to paint a mental image of the wanted outcome and then tries to recreate that with the editing interface on a flat monitor screen Ââ€“ and then looks again inside VR to see whether it turned out as desired. Accurate modelling is still easiest to handle in 2D: with sections, side and aerial views, and the CAD environments steer the designer to use clear cut lines and curves for efficient editing. The distinctive CAD-style line drawings will be history when the VR design interfaces develop and the process is turned upside down. The design will be created inside VR, from which the software calculates simplified 2D versions for e.g. construction plans.
Fig.75: Liuskale right before sunrise. Enscape supports components with built-in lighting information, but trying to create custom lighting like the glowing fishing net on Liuskasaari cliffs is not reasonable in Revit. It is more effective to model them in a 3D modelling software, e.g. Rhino 6.
4. DESIGNING WITH VR // 4.2. Further development of a key area
4.2.4. In a game engine - Unreal Engine 4
Using VR to study views
As explained in the previous chapter 4.2.2., Revit is effective for dimension-based design, but even with plugins like Enscape, it is not the best option for creating virtual reality experiences. The environments created in Revit and rendered in Enscape are too clean due to the insufficient material and vegetation library and its limping features for customization and creating surroundings.
Placing the accurate model into the Helsinki city 3D model enables studying the design in relation to its surroundings: the views to and from the site of Liuskale in VR. Knowing the surroundings in reality helps interpreting the somewhat deformed model of Helsinki and the pixelated long views. The HTC Vive Pro 2.0 head mounted display (HMD) at the author's disposal during this thesis is not well suited for studying long distances: the resolution (amount of pixels in each dimension) is not high enough and the HMD user becomes aware of this deficiency when trying to squint to see better to the opposite shore.
Pure 3D modelling software like 3DS Max and Rhino 6 and game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine can utilize a wider variety of file types and are more nimble for customizing materials and vegetation than a BIM focused software like Revit.
The resolution of HMD devices is advancing fast, and currently the most advanced device is VR-1 by a Finnish company Varjo. VR-1 is a brand new HMD device that is marketed to have human-eye resolution. (Lappalainen, 2019) Fig.76: View to the HSS buildings through the stage.
Next the accurate Liuskale 3D model will be further developed in Unreal Engine and Rhino 6 will be used as a supporting program for finetuning objects. The model can be exported to .fbx files from Revit, and those files are imported first to Rhino 6 for texture mapping and then to Unreal Engine.
Fig.79: The views from the stage bleachers: Ullanlinna facade on the left, Kaivopuisto in front and Uunisaari with the new sauna and diving platform on the right.
Fig.77: View to the sea horizon from the stage.
Fig.78: View to Harakka and to the old laboratory on top.
Visualisation Unreal Engine enables the creation of photorealistic environments, the only limitation being the user's resources: available time and hardware. Photorealism is not essential, if they model is only for design and not for visualisation purposes. Materials representing type, scale and color are enough for serving the needs of a landscape architect during her design process and are quite easy to acquire from existing online databases like e.g. textures.com. Like materials, different kinds of vegetation is also downloadable from the Internet. However, an encompassing model library of Finnish vegetation does not yet exist. There are software made for creating tree models, like SpeedTree, which supports also Unreal Engine, but the creation of realistic trees is a laborious process. Instead of spending a great amount of time modelling their own realistic Finnish vegetation library, landscape architects should now focus on the vegetation masses as spatial elements by using the models at hand. When the demand grows for Finnish vegetation through increasing use of 3D modelling for landscape design, someone will strive to answer to that demand. If the model will be used also for animated visualisation, sufficient photorealism can be useful for audiences that are not used to assessing abstract visualisations. If the model would be used to replace traditional 2D visualisation pictures created with raster graphics editor programs like Adobe Photoshop, a good compromise is to take picture frames from the game engine and enhance them in such a editor. This could potentially save time when compared to creating 2D visualisations from scratch. Consequently, the developed model of Liuskale can be viewed in VR to study the design in relation to its surroundings and how the materials and vegetation masses affect the spatial experience.
Fig.80-83: All used vegetation in the Liuskale model are from starter content or from otherwise freely usable materials and should be regarded as place-holders despite their realistic and detailed appearance. Fig.81
Fig.82 (above) and Fig.83 (below).
Fig.84: Fire is cracking in the grill and the net luminaires light the Liuskasaari cliffs under a starry night sky.
Atmosphere Lighting is important for the atmosphere of the place and especially in Liuskale, because it has special lighting pieces which should be visible also from the sea promenade. Unreal Engine makes studying lighting easy with its different kinds of ready-made light sources. Even though this study would not currently tell what kind of lamps or luminosity is needed to achieve the simulated lighting in reality, it can be showed to a lighting designer who can produce a plan for the wanted outcome. Atmosphere can easily be further enhanced with different types of animation like e.g. sea waves, vegetation blowing in the wind and different weather conditions. The resulting model of "Liuskale" shows the composition of the design and the right points for intervention. While the interventions in the model look very photorealistic, anything more detailed than the main structures of the design should still be regarded as place-holders: the author did not have an encompassing library of vegetation and outdoor accessories. As it was not possible to model them in a reasonable amount of time, she settled upon using available material or creating simplified representations of her vision.
Unreal Engine enables studying this design in relation to its surroundings and gives a more realistic impression of the site during different weather conditions and time of the day with the help of animations and lighting. The result is however still only a representation of a single moment - it does not show the passage of time.
Fig.85: Currently, the atmospheric effect of different weather conditions can be studied, but in the future advanced simulations of e.g. different times of the year will be also possible.
Future VR experience possibilities Unreal Engine offers even more possibilities for creating atmospheric virtual reality experiences, like for example soundscape, changing the time of the year and showing the passage of time. However, these would not currently support the design process, but have a more presentational function, which is not the topic of this thesis. This is further elaborated in the following paragraphs. Soundscape in Unreal Engine is created by adding sources of pre-recorded sound. It cannot simulate sound created by objects. In the future sound simulation in game engines can be possible, but for now the created soundscape would be a presentation of how the designer thinks it would be. Making design decisions based on a hunch of how the soundscape would be is not justifiable, if the designer does not happen to be an expert in acoustics. As the site is not exposed to heavy soundsources and the topic of sound is not of importance
in this design task, developing spatial sound only for perceptional reasons was not regarded as useful. The benefit of studying different times of the year in virtual reality would be how they change the appearance of the place. The most visible changes would be in vegetation and land cover, primarily snow. As there is no pre-coded simulation available of how the wind accumulates the snow into drifts in Liuskale, trying to research the variables affecting this accumulation would cause the thesis to drift away from its topic. The simulation of vegetation during different seasons would be very helpful for a landscape architect. Unfortunately, these different seasonal attires would have to be modelled, as there is not yet such a library for Finnish vegetation available. Again, the laborious modelling process would require additional and vast resources channelled directly to that purpose.
Until such a library exists, landscape architects should project their knowledge of vegetation in different seasonal attires to their mental image of the site. The same mental visualisation must be used to imagine how the wear and tear of time and how the growth of vegetation would change the appearance and atmosphere of the place, because such simulations are not yet available and modelling the aging process one material and object at a time would be time-consuming. Like with sound, the result would be of value for presentational uses but not for the design process. What the designer can currently do is to try scaling the trees to represent growth and to study how it affects the sense of space. The author of this thesis believes that in the future the above described elements will scripted in an attempt to simulate reality and to even create the â€œUltimate Displayâ€?.
4.3. Conclusion The goal of this part 4 was to study how the mental image can be outsourced to the 3D model and experience it in VR during the creative design process. The node graph on the following spread illustrates further the VR utilisation process. Throughout this part, VR was used for both ideation and the testing of ideas to study the possible physical interventions in accordance with the concept developed during the “Founding” phase. For the time being, the work flow between ideation, testing and modifying is not fluent, and the designer must jump back and forth between the VR headset and 2D monitor to access the modelling interface. Even so, one should go through the trouble of utilising VR when designing on a flat monitor screen in a 3D perspective; otherwise the created spaces might turn out to be over-sized (Whyte and Nicolic, 2018). If VR equipment is not available, the designer should use both the aerial and section 2D and the perspective 3D views, as the eyes of the designer have often become trained to intuitively assess measurements and scale in these traditional 2D drawings.
In order to study these interventions in the way described in the previous paragraph, a model of the site is required. For the first initial testing of the concept and the later fine-tuning in Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), the Merisatama 3D model by the city of Helsinki and the photogrammetry model created in chapter 3.2.1. “Grounding in VR” were exported to UE4. The level of detail in these models vary and they are partially deformed, but accurate enough for this level of study when the designer knows the place and can therefore interpret inaccuracies correctly. For the accurate BIM based design phase, a number of more accurate base data were used to create a mass model of the site. The study of physical interventions started from abstract forms representing structures defined in the concept and their approximate scaling and stretching in UE4. With this method it was possible to discover the connections and relationships with the surroundings that support the desired experience in accordance with the earlier defined concept. From this abstract design model an area was chosen for further development. It was first tentatively identified particularly important during the “Founding” phase. This early view was only strengthened by the initial
intervention study and the site was dubbed “Liuskale”. During this phase, the abstract forms were refined in UE4 according to the immersive spatial experience that took into consideration the sense of space, connections and views to surroundings, and sunlight. The result of focusing to “Liuskale” in UE4 expresses the spatial vision of the designer, but these spatial elements are still only place-holders and the model does not contain the needed information for its implementation. As landscape architects primarily design both memorable and feasible landscapes, it is important that the design process produces plans that meet the standards for construction. Therefore the site and its interventions were reconstructed in a BIM environment (Autodesk Revit 2019), the design accuracy of which showed the shortcomings of modelling in a game engine. The interventions had to be modified to fit the official building guidance, which have many very clearly defined requirements for construction. After fixing these contradictions with the design guidelines, it was possible to focus on the creative and intuitive part of designing: diving into the model to see how the created space felt in VR with the help of the plugin Enscape.
Fig.87: Development process: From the first concept mass model to fitting the main elements to the site on a generic level in accordance with the concept vision in Unreal Engine (UE).
4. DESIGNING WITH VR // 4.3. Conclusion
Concluding the use of Revit, it enables accurate designing to give the final form for structures and land, and their spatial qualities can be studied with Enscape. By adding rasters for materials and symbols for vegetation one can create an utilisable plan that can also be viewed in VR with Enscape. However, this is not an encompassing representation of the factors that a landscape designer must take into consideration during the design process. In order to explore further the possibilities of VR, the model was exported to Unreal Engine.
Modern games are often very visual, and so also Unreal Engine offers various features for creating visually impressive environments. Combined with a 3D modelling software like Rhino 6, the only limitations for creating photorealistic environments, also for landscape architectâ€™s visualisation purposes, is the available time and hardware. What defines the level of realism is the purpose of the model: for purely design process purposes it is enough that materials and objects represent type, scale and color, or even less, if the designer relies more on her mental image. This level of visualisation is quite easy and time-effective to achieve with the existing material libraries available in software and the Internet. For presentational purposes increased photorealism might be useful.
In addition to the design element studied already in Revit, Unreal Engine enables the study of views, colour and material schemes and atmosphere in regard of lighting and weather conditions. Replacing the mass model of Liuskale in Unreal Engine with this accurate design shows better the truth of how the design relates to its surroundings. Studying views to and from the site is limited by the display resolution of the headset, but it is enough to give a sense of how the views are framed and what main elements are visible, and their reciprocal hierarchy.
What hinders the pursued photorealism is the lack of modelled Finnish vegetation. Until an encompassing enough library of Finnish vegetation exists, landscape architects should now focus on the vegetation masses as spatial elements and place-holders by using the vegetation models at hand.
Enscape via Revit
Atmosphere consists of various elements and is a concept that is essential in defining the experience of the place, and also the most dependent of the designerâ€™s ability to form a mental image. Currently it is possible to study the atmospheric elements of lighting and weather conditions through animations in Unreal Engine. Many atmospheric elements cannot yet be studied due to the lack of realism-based simulations that would be of value for the design process and not only for presentational purposes. In the future for example soundscape, different times of the year and the passage of time will be scripted in an attempt to simulate reality and to even create the â€œUltimate Display". In conclusion, integration of VR into the design phase has shown that it helps to study the spatial composition, its relations and qualities, and the atmospheric effects of lighting and weather conditions. The VR study made it easier to make informed design decisions when compared to using mental visualisation, which is not exact science and prone to miscalculations. VR also made it possible to see the outcome of those decisions before the plan is constructed.
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The work is done, and now it is time to discuss its significance.
5.1. Conclusion This thesis explored the possibilities enabled by virtual reality as part of a landscape architectâ€™s design process. The aim was to discover what kind of an impact virtual reality can have to the landscape design process when it is introduced to a landscape architect's work flow. In order to have an understanding of the current tools and the needs of landscape architects, the different tools and types of design processes available for landscape architects were first introduced.
How using VR during the design process can become a self-promoting factor that increases also the demand from clients Utilising VR during the design process does not only support the making of informed design decisions, but simultaneously produces material that can be used to enhance the communication between involved parties. Instead of discussing over traditional 2D visualisations and plans, one can put on the VR headset and experience the design. Effective communication between related parties during the design process enables the discovery of shortcomings and possible places for improvement before the construction phase, which is both economical and sustainable. While BIM analysis software calculate only the constructibility to find these faults, with VR the designers can also assess the experienced quality of the combined outcome. This will lead to more economical, sustainable and experience-based design, which should also interest clients and officials.
3D modelling during the design process is a prerequisite for using virtual reality and its prevalence was investigated by using the survey method of a questionnaire. Majority of Finnish landscape architecture offices already have the necessary 3D modelling software for VR technology. However, most of them do not use 3D modelling or VR as tools during the design process even though the pressure to use 3D modelling is growing due to the requirement of BIM models by officials and major construction companies. The best would be for the 3D modelling and the use of VR during design to go hand in hand â€“ modelling in a 3D perspective can otherwise cause the designed spaces to be over-sized due to the difficulty of assessing dimensions and scale from a flat monitor screen. As is stated also in Whyte and Nikolic (2018), VR continues to be used most widely for design review in later phases instead of throughout the design process. What is currently limiting the use of VR during the design process is resources (Fig.89); time and finances, which stems from the ineffective work flows and the lack of demand from clients. Offices need to be introduced to VR utilisation methods that bring value to the design process without being a resource glutton.
Fig.88: Editing interfaces of software chosen for the conduction of this thesis. Above Autodesk Revit, below Unreal Engine 4.
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4. DESIGNING WITH VR // 5.1. Conclusion
The literature review of different design methods showed that there are as many different design processes as there are designers, but from most of them the generally accepted process of research, analysis and synthesis can be found in some form, while its linearity is also criticised.
To demonstrate a landscape architect's work flow, this thesis included the method a qualitative case study, in which a conceptual development plan for Merisatama islands was created. The goal of this case study was to find efficient design methods offered by virtual reality instead of using traditional 2D study and presentation tools.
The lack of available 3D material of the site and clumsy capturing technologies to produce own materials made using virtual reality difficult during the so-called research and synthesis phases, in this thesis divided to three phases called “Landing”, “Grounding” and “Finding”. Therefore, the research phase had for now follow the traditional studying process. It consisted of an assessment of history, habitat, human activities, landscape, views and microclimate, official visions and plans and an interview with a stakeholder, and then the conclusion for “Finding” the base requirements for developing the site.
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Most of the reviewed design processes have been written as an answer to a certain issue that the writer has been concerned about. These issues, like criticism over designing only in aerial 2D view, the assessment of ecology as a force that creates unique landscapes over time and the mental image (“virtual world”) that a designer must be able to form of the design, can be confronted with VR. With these issues in mind, a design process method was chosen for the case study of utilising VR and to confront also those issues.
The chosen design process for the case study was Cristophe Girot’s "Four trace concepts", which consist of landing, grounding, finding and founding. The author saw this approach as a good way of controlling and analysing information about the place in question and as a sufficient mixture of different views regarding the design process.
The future brings possibilities for combining all acquired materials into one model that serves as visual databank and a designer's personal notebook which can be experienced in virtual reality. This will be realized when 3D material is as common and easy to handle, and even analysed computationally, as is 2D information in GIS software.
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Fig.90: Location of Merisatama.
Fig.91: Illustration of "Grounding".
The last phase in Girotâ€™s "Four trace concepts", the â€œFoundingâ€? concept was defined first for the entire Merisatama area on a conceptual level and then continued to its own part for more tangible designing with the help of VR. This concept for connecting the islands to the seafront experience and fading the line between sailors and landlubbers was used as an example to study how the mental image can be outsourced to the 3D model and experience it in VR during the creative design process. Throughout this part, VR was used for both ideation and the testing of ideas to study the possible physical interventions in accordance with the concept. For the time being, the work flow between ideation, testing and modifying is not fluent, for the designer must jump back and forth between the VR headset and 2D monitor to access the modelling interface. Furthermore, for VR to give notable extra value to the design process, the designer must also be able to use effectively multiple software. In addition to the common CAD software, the designer should also know 3D modelling software that supports a VR plugin and a game engine, and all of those should work across interfaces in order to enable exchange of data without any loss of information. In addition to the above described deficiencies, there are also other shortcomings in the utilisation of VR in the design process. One of the biggest limitations is the lack of 3D material. Most of the available base material for planning is in 2D, which sets a challenge for obtaining a functioning model as a base for design. The 3D design element and vegetation libraries provided by the design software are inadequate from a Finnish landscape architect's perspective. In order not to limit the design because of incomplete selection of 3D materials, they should be used as place-holders. Regardless of those limitations, the integration of VR into the design phase has shown that it helps to study the spatial composition, its relations and qualities, and the atmospheric effects of lighting and weather conditions. The VR study made it easier to make informed design decisions when compared to using mental visualisation, which is not exact science and prone to miscalculations. VR also made it possible to see the outcome of those decisions before the plan is constructed. Fig.93 (below and right): Illustrations of the design decisions made with the help of VR.
Fig.92 (above): A map of the concept for Merisatama development.
4. DESIGNING WITH VR // 5.1. Conclusion
In the future VR can offer even more to the design process, when hardware and software will be developed to support the use of VR even better. As affordable VR gear is already available, the pressure for development is focused on the quality of the hardware and usability of the software.
Fig.93: Comparison of vegetation visualisation capability: left Autodesk Revit, right Unreal Engine 4.
Fig.94: Atmospheric studies in Unreal Engine 4: different times of the day (night) and weather conditions (rain).
It is not a matter of if, but of when the "Ultimate Platform", an userfriendly design environment that supports both the accuracy of CAD and the immersive capabilities of VR combined with the simulation possibilities of scripting, is created. It will be interesting to see whether it will originate from a CAD, a 3D modelling or a game engine based environment, or from a completely new party. This "Ultimate Platform" might come sooner than one would think, but designers should not wait for the perfect version. When a somewhat usable 2D CAD version was first introduced to the consumer market, the shift from designing by hand happened considerably quickly, and now the 21th century 2D CAD software are currently the most common way of handling design among Finnish landscape architects. Consequently, designing in 3D and VR can become the new common way within this generation of designers. It is crucial for landscape architects to familiarize themselves with VR applications, so that they will be able to make precise demands for features that serve their needs during the development towards the "Ultimate Platform", and to get those demands heard in an architect and game developer dominant customer base. In that way landscape architects can stay technically on the same level, and are able to seamlessly cooperate with architects and other related disciplines also in the future.
Fig.95: Studying relationships with surroundings in Unreal Engine 4: views open towards Ullanlinna, Kaivopuisto and Uunisaari.
5.2. Discussion Using VR during the design process had its challenges and uncertainties. One has to know various software to achieve an effective and purposeful work flow, and the author of this thesis decided to use the ones she had at least some prior knowledge of, as it would have been impossible to first learn multiple design programs and then decide what would be best for the task within the given time frame for the thesis. It is possible that there could be other programs better suited for the case study task, but this thesis shows one functional combination of programs. It is not fully clear either if the current technology is able to represent the spaces accurately in VR, or what kind of an influence different visualisation techniques have on the VR experience when pursuing photorealism is not worthwhile. The book form of a master's thesis created a challenge - the work done in VR had to be conveyed through the very methods that the topic of this thesis tried to break free from: illustrations on a two-dimensional platform. The aim of this thesis was to study VR as a tool during the design process and not to produce a VR experience. Even though it is not a requirement in the final produce of a master's thesis, it would have been possible to add a VR .exe program file on a disk as an attachment of this thesis, but the author chose not to for following reasons. The thesis topic focused on a personal design process and left out the presentational use of VR. Therefore the VR models used during design are not finished and have many issues that the designer knows how to handle, but for those not familiar with the model and VR would get stuck on those issues. They wouldn't be able to assess the models as they are: tools for design. Like designers
won't show their design process openly to customers but filter it and create additional illustrations, the .exe program file would have been done as an extra work and its meaning would have been presentational - which is not the topic of this thesis. As described in the 5.1. conclusion, VR helped to make informed design decisions and see their outcome before the plan is constructed. However, it is not known and cannot be demonstrated whether the chosen design interventions for the place would had been considerably different if the author of this thesis had used more traditional methods. Using either method first and then trying out the other would not have been comparable: the first result would have probably affected the second design decisions. From the author's experience with designing with VR for this thesis, she argues that at the bare minimum, it was possible to get verification for the mental image of the design with VR, and possible mishaps can be spotted. It also was considerably faster and intuitive to assess the space and sceneries in VR than by drawing sections from different angles for study purposes. At best, VR made it possible to study elements that are not easy to interpret from 2D plans and are often limited to the designer’s ability to visualise them inside her head, like sense of space, views and atmosphere. Using mental images for their study is not exact science and is prone to miscalculations. VR is especially valuable in high profile locations, like the capital seafront. These high profile cases are handled with care as their value demands and are very often modelled during the design process for discussion and
participatory purposes, so taking VR into this process would be very natural, and in some cases in some form it has already been. This shows that there is a place for VR in a landscape architect’s design process, even though it is for now limited to the study of physical interventions. The question is how effective it is resource-wise for lesser cases than the capital seafront. The effectiveness depends on the size of the site, as explained in chapter “Finding in VR”, and the requirements derived from the questionnaire. A simplified conclusion would be that the software enabling the use of VR and the design methods should be reasonably easy to assimilate and the tasks should be either the size of residential construction sites (easiest for tasks that require BIM in any case) or less detailed interventions for larger areas. It is true that landscape architects are able to do firstrate design also without VR, but they should also try to anticipate the future of design processes. If landscape architects decide to be content with their current tools and methods while 3D modelling, BIM and integration of VR are already state of the art within architecture, will they be able to seamlessly co-operate with architects and other related disciplines also in the future? The change might even come very quickly. 30 years ago, Finnish landscape designers were still drawing plans by hand, and now all of them have been using CAD for at least a decade. Change from 2D CAD to 3D modelling/BIM based design that utilises VR could happen even faster.
4. DESIGNING WITH VR // 5.3. Epilogue
5.3. Epilogue Self-reflection on the thesis work A pure design task could have been easier, though not as rewarding. It was challenging to find the balance between a theoretical and a practical approach so that both aspects are comprehensive without substantially exceeding the defined workload of a masterâ€™s thesis. In the end, this two-sided approach brought more value to the study of VR than choosing only one: the process, results and sometimes complex concepts regarding VR are presented through the case study examples and are supported by theory and objective discussion. The thesis work started in March 2018, and in order to follow the chosen design process, "Landing" had to be carried out first and without delay. However, the time of landing undoubtedly affects the experience of the place, and a cold and windy winter day does not compliment the islands. There was a risk of favoring Uunisaaris, which the author had explored in late summer, before being able to experience the other islands in a more pleasant season. This was avoided with an iterative process: while the "Four Trace Concepts" seem like a linear approach and the thesis was indeed gradually advanced, the author was not afraid to go back and make changes as new findings emerged. Weather did not only affect the "Landing", but also "Grounding in VR". The models created with photogrammetry from Merisatama islands contain noise and inaccuracies, even deformations when the weather conditions for capturing were not optimal. This was not the software's fault, as RealityCapture enables the creation of very detailed 3D models. The author considered creating new models from more carefully gathered material, but as the use of such information-
heavy models is currently very limited and these low detail models served their purpose as refreshment of the author's memory of the place, she chose not to. Of "Grounding" in more general, there were certain points of emphasis even though that phase should be a meticulous process of going through all the possible information. As time is often limited also in work assignments, the author had to determine what aspects to focus on in the limited time frame of a master's thesis. This led to the very light assessment of flora and fauna. The author deduced that the probability of having very rare species on islands that have been under heavy human influence is low. When the prerequisites derived from "Finding" for development did not include flora and fauna, and the concept in "Finding" focused on areas that are under constant human influence or are very infertile, she did not return to the topic of flora and fauna on those places. The lack of valuable habitats or species is not guaranteed, and the sites would have to be assessed by an expert of that profession before construction. The concept in "Finding" is the authors insight to what is a beneficial line of development for the islands. When the activity at the site is very community driven like in Merisatama, it is essential for the stakeholders to experience it as their own. While the author did conduct an interview to understand the stakeholders' need better, she did not involve them during the design process. This was a conscious decision, as the purpose of the case study was to study VR as a tool during the design process and not as a representational tool. If the concept was to be implemented, it would first need the approval of the stakeholders.
Regarding the VR design process, the author feels inadequate to objectively assess the possibilities of VR. There could have been features within the used software or completely different software that could have brought even more possibilities of more effective ways to use VR during and for design. It was impossible to study all possible VR supporting software or supporting software for creating material for VR in the given time frame. The result of this thesis is just one way to use VR for design. Self-reflection of own working methods Careful planning and efforts to stay within the topic bore fruit and the final estimated effective working hour count for the thesis was 870, which is relatively close to the desired 800h workload. This does not contain procrastinating at the computer, which happened quite often when the task at hand felt insurmountable. Especially producing academic and articulate writing in a foreign tongue required a great amount of effort and also help from peers and superiors. Having to be one's own boss during the thesis project offered the author the possibility to objectively reflect on her previous design processes and working methods. This thesis project was a good teacher in regards of time management, understanding and controlling entities and self-empowerment in the face of adversary. Even with its challenges and low points, the thesis process has been very rewarding, and if given the possibility in future work environments, the author would readily use VR during her design process.
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Hannula, T., 2013. Raju tulipalo jätti pursiseuran pulaan. Helsingin Sanomat, 22 7. [Online] Available at: https://www.hs.fi/kaupunki/art-2000002662906.html [Accessed 12 12 2018] Iribe, B., 2016. The first Oculus Rift has shipped, deliveries begin Monday 3.28.2016. Twitter. [Online] Available at: https://t.co/C0MMKmezun [Accessed 08 11 2018]. Lappalainen, E., 2019. Varjon VR-lasit tulivat myyntiin ja ne maksavat 5995 dollaria Sai tuotteen markkinoille alle kolmessa vuodessa. Talouselämä, 19.2.2019 [Online] Available at: https://www.talouselama.fi/uutiset/varjon-vr-lasit-tulivat-myyntiin-ja-nemaksavat-5995-dollaria-sai-tuotteen-markkinoille-alle-kolmessa-vuodessa/cbe311639455-39da-b023-7663971086df [Accessed 14 03 2019]. Mölsä, S., 2018. Liverpoolin yliopiston professori Arto Kiviniemi on BIM-osaamisen kansainvälinen guru. Rakennuslehti, 25.1.2018. [Online] Available at: https://www.rakennuslehti.fi/2018/01/ arto-kiviniemi-on-tietomallinnuksen-kansainvalinen-huippuvaikuttaja/ Meriluoto, E., 2017. Rakennussuunnittelu, esimerkkejä 1981...2017: Merisataman kylpylä ja ravintola Uunisaari. [Online] Available at: http://www.saunalahti.fi/~dvinci/em.html [Accessed 04 12 2018]. NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division, unknown. Virtual Reality: Definitions and Requirements. [Online] Available at: https://www.nas.nasa.gov/Software/VWT/vr.html [Accessed 08 11 2018]. National land survey of Finland, n.d. File service of open data. [Online] Available at: https://tiedostopalvelu.maanmittauslaitos.fi/tp/kartta?lang=en [Accessed 13 11 2018]. National land survey of Finland, 2018. Oululaiset mukaan kaupunkisuunnitteluun virtuaalimallin avulla. [Online] Available at: https://www.maanmittauslaitos.fi/ajankohtaista/oululaiset-mukaankaupunkisuunnitteluun-virtuaalimallin-avulla [Accessed 23 11 2018].
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If the figure number is not mentioned below, it is either photographed or created by the author of this thesis or from an open source that does not require crediting the author. In figures that consist of multiple sources “Ekman, E-M.” refers to the author. Front cover illustration: edited by Ekman, E-M. source pictures: - Vekkeli, M. VR-headset in use, 2017. - Ekman, E-M. Liuskale screenshot, 2019. Fig.1: Vekkeli, M., 2017. Virtuaalinen maisema maisemasuunnittelun työkaluna. Master thesis. Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Architecture, Espoo. p. 12 Fig.2: Vekkeli, M., 2017. Virtuaalinen maisema maisemasuunnittelun työkaluna. Master thesis. Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Architecture, Espoo. p. 12 Fig.3: Ivan Sutherland. A head-mounted three-dimensional display. AFIPS Conference Proceedings (1968) 33, p. 760 Fig.9: Ekman, E-M., 2018. Merisatama aerial picture, a map. Edited from: - Helsinki city survey services. Helsinki 2017 orthophotograph. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi - Helsinki city survey services, n.d. Base map. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Fig.25: Ekman, E-M., 2019. Illustration of the following Grounding part. Consists of: - Ekman, E-M. Pictures and screen shots. - Veljekset Karhumäki Oy, v. Liuskasaari ja Uunisaari. Helsinki City Museum. - Johan Albrecht Ehrenström. Plan Map of the City of Helsinki 1820. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi - Appelberg, J. n.d. Lokki Merisataman yllä. - Luostarinen, M. Ice skater. - Pixabay.com. Pictures under Pixabay Licence - Nummi, E. Meripuiston leikkialue. Vihreät sylit: Merisatama. Available at: https://vihreatsylit.fi/meripuisto/ - See Fig.52 description - Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 2016. Helsingin uusi yleiskaava. Available at: kartta.hel.fi Fig.28: Johan Albrecht Ehrenström. Plan Map of the City of Helsinki 1820. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi
Fig.29: F.Liewendal´s lith. tryckeri. Guide Map of the City of Helsinki 1900. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi
Fig.30: Helsingin kaupungin rakennuskonttori. Guide Map of the City of Helsinki 1909. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi
Fig.52: Ekman, E-M., 2018. Analysis of landscape, structures, views and microclimate, a map. Edited from: - Helsinki city survey services. Helsinki 2017 orthophotograph. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi - Helsinki city survey services, n.d. Base map. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi - Navionics. Online sonar nautical charts. Available at: webapp.navionics.com - Finnish meteorological institute, 2014. Harmaja wind rose. Available at: https://ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/tuuliruusut
Fig.31: Helsinki city survey services. Helsinki 1932 orthophotograph. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Fig.32: Helsinki city survey services. Helsinki 1950 orthophotograph. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Fig.33: Helsinki city survey services. Helsinki 1997 orthophotograph. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Fig.34: Helsinki city survey services. Helsinki 2001 orthophotograph. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Fig.35: Helsinki city survey services. Helsinki 2017 orthophotograph. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Fig.36: Pälsi, S. 1910s. Uunisaaret, Eteläinen- Ja Pohjoinen Uunisaari. Helsinki City Museum. Fig.37: Veljekset Karhumäki Oy, v. Liuskasaari ja Uunisaari. Helsinki City Museum. Fig.38: Möller, B., 1965. Sirpalesaari, Liuskasaari, Liuskaluoto. Helsinki City Museum. Fig.39: Meyer, M. 1920-1929. 1920 -luku. Harakka, etualalla Ullanlinnanmäen näköalapaikka. Helsinki City Museum. Fig.46: Lainiola, M. 2018. no title. Luontohetkiblogi. Available at: https:// luontohetkiblogi.blogspot.com/2018/06/harakan-saari.html Fig.48: Appelberg, J. n.d. Lokki Merisataman yllä. Fig.50: Ekman, E-M. 2018. Summer services and activities, a map. Edited from: - Helsinki city survey services, 2017. Helsinki 2017 orthophotograph. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi - Helsinki city survey services, n.d. Base map. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Fig.51: Ekman, E-M. 2018. Winter services and activities, a map. Edited from: - Helsinki city survey services. Helsinki 2017 orthophotograph.
Available at: Kartta.hel.fi - Helsinki city survey services, n.d. Base map. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi
Fig.53: Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 2016. Helsingin uusi yleiskaava. Available at: kartta.hel.fi Fig.54: World Heritage Convention, 1991. Fortress of Suomenlinna. World Heritage List. Available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/583/ Fig.55:Helsingin kaupunginsuunnitteluvirasto, 2016. Helsingin viher- ja virkistysverkoston kehittämissuunnitelma VISTRA osa II, Helsinki: Helsingin kaupunki. p. 25 [Online] Available at: https://www.hel.fi/hel2/ksv/julkaisut/aos_2016-2.pdf Fig.56: Helsingin kaupunkisuunniteluvirasto, 2015. Teemakartta: Merellinen Helsinki. Available at: http://www.yleiskaava.fi/2015/ehdotushelsingin-uudeksi-yleiskaavaksi-paattajien-kasittelyyn/ merellinen-helsinki_20151006/ Fig.57: Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 2004. Merisataman saaret. Available at: kartta.hel.fi Fig.58: City of Helsinki: Kaupunkiympäristö, 2017. Merisataman saaret muutosluonnos. Available at: https://www.hel.fi/hel2/ksv/liitteet/2017_kaava/5564_1_kaavaluonnos.pdf Fig.59: City of Helsinki: Kaupunkiympäristö, 2018. Hernesaaren asemakaava ja asemakaavan muutos 1603_1. Helsinki: Helsingin kaupunki. [Online] Available at: www.hel.fi/hel2/ksv/liitteet/2018_kaava/1603_1_selostusluonno.pdf Fig.60: Helsingfors segelsällskap, 2017. HSS. Available at: http://helsinkisailing.com
Fig.61: Ekman, E-M., 2019. Illustration of the basis for development. Base map from: - Helsinki city survey services. Helsinki 2017 orthophotograph. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Fig.62: Ekman, E-M., 2018. Abstract concept map for Merisatama development. Base map from: - Helsinki city survey services, n.d. Base map. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Fig.68: Ekman, E-M., 2018. Refined concept map for Merisatama development. Base map from: - Helsinki city survey services, n.d. Base map. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi
City of Helsinki, 2015. Triangle mesh model (.OBJ). Helsinki Map Service. Available at: kartta.hel.fi City of Helsinki Building Control Services. ARSKA-service, electrical service of architectural drawing archives (online scans). Available at: https://asiointi.hel.fi/arska/ Cetopo.com. Merisatama elevation point cloud data (.CSV). Textures.com. One or more textures on the 3D models have been created with photographs from Textures.com. Turbosquid.com. Free motorboat and sailboat 3D models (.MAX).
Fig.69: Seinknecht, B. 1940-1960. Ställning med fiskenät som hänger på tork och en uppoch-nerpå-vänd kanot i förgrunden. Bohusläns museum. Available at: https://digitaltmuseum.se/011014345019/ stallning-med-fiskenat-som-hanger-pa-tork-och-en-upp-och-nerpa-vand-kanot Back cover illustration: editing Ekman, E-M. source picture: - Vekkeli, M. VR-headset in use, 2017 Fig.91: Ekman, E-M., 2019. Illustration of Grounding. Consists of: - Ekman, E-M. Pictures and screen shots. - Veljekset Karhumäki Oy, v. Liuskasaari ja Uunisaari. Helsinki City Museum. - Luostarinen, M. Ice skater. - Pixabay.com. P=Pictures under Pixabay Licence - Nummi, E. Meripuiston leikkialue. Vihreät sylit: Merisatama. Available at: https://vihreatsylit.fi/meripuisto/ - See Fig.52 description - Helsingin kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto, 2016. Helsingin uusi yleiskaava. Available at: kartta.hel.fi Fig.92: Ekman, E-M., 2018. Refined concept map for Merisatama development. Base map from: - Helsinki city survey services, n.d. Base map. Available at: Kartta.hel.fi Modelling material 3D models were mostly created by the author Ekman, E-M. with the available features and free content offered by the software providers (Autodesk Revit, Rhino 6 and Unreal Engine 4). File type of the material is listed in brackets. Additional base material and information for modelling was acquired as follows:
Integrating Virtual Reality to the Landscape Design Process - case study: a development plan for Merisatama islands // Department of archite...
Published on Aug 22, 2019
Integrating Virtual Reality to the Landscape Design Process - case study: a development plan for Merisatama islands // Department of archite...