Virtual Reality Basketball Centre
The Virtual Reality Basketball Centre is situated in 2030 at the ‘Royal German Spa’, Queen’s Park. This facility is designed to provide an innovative form of virtual reality sport in an artificially generated atmosphere. By using modern technologies, it has been possible to generate realistic sensory experiences during the gameplay. Users partake in an activity that resembles the real-life basketball with less toll on their physical condition. The programme is designed for the age group of 16 to 49 who are most active in physical and gaming activities according to my research. The benefit of this programme is that it allows users in a low-physical condition, (less fit, past injuries, etc) or users interested in sports but are indecisive about trying the sport. Due to such benefits of VR technology, users of all ages can compete against each other with no restriction from their physical fitness.
The site is naturally enclosed with much vegetation and noise pollution is low due to its position in a quiet residential area. Visiting the park, one can witness many sporting and leisure activities, such as tennis, table tennis, jogging and theatre performances in the Royal German Spa, one of the park’s historical monuments.
Analysing the site, the Royal German Spa is positioned in the best viewing angle that covers most of Queen’s Park’s grounds. The Park Street Arch Gate stands next to the Royal German Spa offering a grand entry passage for the visitors. The Royal German Spa was the first spa facility to offer visitors, including members of the royal family, healing water treated through a chemical process to artificially produce mineral water. The spa treatment and physical activities represented in the park have a strong link to my project as they concern physical fitness. Choosing this site creates a link from past innovations in health to the present with the VR Basketball Centre.
My work is inspired by two things that I most enjoy in my free times – basketball and video games. By researching methods to combine these two elements, I found VR technology was a solution to merge these elements into one functional platform. The design of my work addresses the details I was interested in the existing structure of the Royal German Spa. To highlight these details, my main inspiration was an array system of the historical gate of Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. In further iterations in my design, I used tree-like columns to shelter the existing structure using Agri Chapel by Yu Momoeda as an inspiration to create a context to vegetation in the park. Advancing to the design, it addresses the details of Ionic columns in the existing spa structure and implementing the materiality of a basketball court to create a connection between the design and the function.