Yishuang GUO /  Yunlei ZHANG


Based on the on-going advancement of VR technology, the using of such media gives us tools to have the possibility to design, to change the architecture in an alternative way. My thesis put forward a possible model in virtual space where physics allows architecture to expand its boundary both physically and aesthetically. 

Instructor: Michael Young

September, 2017

Essentials to virtual spaces

These characteristics of theme parks - role playing, control, compression of spaces and folding of identity - are the very attributes which are most commonly ascribed to virtual spaces.

Based on these well structured theme parks, I think of the virtual spaces. Free from the laws of physics and limitations of materials, have their chances to expand the boundary of architecture both physically and aesthetically.

1. the environment is changed. Gravity can be changed.

we can have gravity from different orientations.

2. spaces can be connected through warps / portals, hence change the physical adjacency relationships.

the relationship of exterior and interior can be re-defined.

3. the relations between different users are varied: a more alienated environment, but a more closer relationship.

we are always meeting “the barrel lovers”

If amusement parks are artificial replicas of nature and fun, my design project (LUNA PARK) ², would be another artificial replicas to the real-day amusement parks.

Virtual Architecture?

Under the fact that more and more digital products has extracted out time into a digital world, the appearances of virtual spaces have proved their on-going importance. However, the use of such media has not yet reached the reign of architectural design. What space will it be when it comes to the virual space? What features will they have? And a more important question is:

How it's going to have impact on real-day architecture?

The question may seem familiar to us, as we have already think of a similar question a hundred years ago. In <Delirious New York>, Rem Koolhass brought us a story of his question: the birth of amusement parks. The story is old but new: In 1897, George Tilyou created Steeplechase Park on Coney Island, as the world's "earliest theme park". In the park where Steeplechase first came as a simulation of riding real horses, the space begin to contain various kinds of activity in a condense space, by constructing replicas of historic forms of fun and joy.

Few years later in 1903, Frederick Thompson with his partner opened a second theme park nearby: the Luna Park. The main concept built upon the ideas of spatial compression. By allowing visitors to have the idea of "being as an astronaut outside earth", the park was intended to be "not of this earth but part of the moon". Upon entering the park, visitors were given a feeling of being in an outside by staying in a huge airship. Also worth to mention the "Barrel of Love" where a couple of strangers were encouraged to walked down a rotating pipe which forced them to fall against each other, to break down the alienation of space travel experience by the young men and women. The combination of spatial compression (from the earth to the moon, from an interior to an exterior), excitement(travel to strange and exotic lands), and role-playing(from being astronauts to being lovers) ensured the success of the park. 

In the (LUNA PARK) ², 9 different spaces are compressed altogether to contribute to the park. 8 of the 9 spaces are sub spaces each features on different characteristics of certain program, while the main space acting as the “electrical tower” in the luna park, connects all sub spaces, by implanting 40 'teleporters' inside the project.

The main space involves two basic elements: The Bricks and The Doors.

The Bricks: as the basic element of the whole project, build up all the surroundings for users to stand on and perceive around. They form platforms in directional orientations as the major components of the project.

The Doors: programmed as portals inside the park, teleport the character between places that are not physically adjacent and between different orientations. Some doors provide links to the sub-spaces, and some just portals on other surfaces of the main space, creating extra walking area and efficiency.

While walking through the main space, the project shows multiple layouts to each one when visitors pick different routes. The ambiguity of the project redefines composition and spatial sequence of an architecture.

Main Space: the "Electrical Tower“

Sub Spaces: the fragments of worlds

The sub spaces, compressed other worlds that contribute different features of the identity of virtual spaces, acts as components that adds the complexity and open up the border of sensory stimulation.

The Moon Village: the moon village is an emulation to gardening and pet raising. Through physical interaction in VR devices visitors would experience a virtual experience of farming and gardening, offering additional space for urban dwellers to have a simulation of suburban lives.


The Drifting Notes Room: Similar to the drifting bottles, the drifting notes (coins precisely) offers another media of communication between different visitors in the same space. Words can be spread through objects and form a visual effect on space itself.


El Toro: This is basically a simulation to the Roller Coaster, or more traditionally, the steeplechase ride. Named after the wooden roller coaster in six flags amusement park, a retro-style of excitement is found in the hybrid land.


Underworld: The underworld pays a tribute to all famous scene creators, from Super-mario to the legend of Zelda, Contra, Castlevania and Ghostbusters. Those traditional games have shown the possibility of character swimming, running, breathing, and even gun-firing under water! And that may not seen quite special anymore since we all know in game we can survive with it.


The Hanging Garden: The hanging garden of Babylon was created by lifting the land to certain height, but the hanging garden offers a botanical tour where trees can grow in all directions.


The Mars Station: The Mars Station give us a experience of light gravity. Being able to control the strength of gravity, the experience of floating has again take us an exodus tour.


Tender Land: This is actually still under construction, by showing movements of the surroundings and soft textures, the room offers a different visual effect.


Endless Dungeon: Dungeon as one of the most classical elements in game history has been represented as “mysterious space” for a long time. Here, by self-repreating layouts of each floor, the depth of dungeon was literally “unknown” since the volume of space keeps on its self-regeneration.


By bringing the best parts of the world together, it was thought that architecture would break down spatial barriers and create a place where people could enjoy themselves by being alternatively excited and scared by the rides and attractions.