V&A Dundee opens next year, and already it looks likely to win a healthy number of awards for the architect and engineering team who figured out how to make the magic happen. It’s so new, that the technology needed to make it a reality is, somewhat ironically, virtual.

Thanks to wonder toys like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear, VR, or Virtual Reality to give its full name, has become more accessible. The entertainment industry has done rather well out of immersive gaming and cinema. However, other areas are coming round to the realisation that VR has a huge amount to offer. Estate agents could give virtual house tours, even before the property has been built. Getting married? Shopping around for wedding venues could get easier if you could have a look round without visiting in-person. Adrenaline seekers could ‘try’ their bungee jump before they buy, or tour the bike tracks at a trail centre. In an educational setting, VR has massive appeal too, like making historical sites come to life once more.

Arup, the engineering firm doing the maths to make architect Kengo Kuma’s V&A stand up, had to set aside the more traditional flat-plan approach. So multi-dimensional is the building, it had to be designed in VR because the individual sections cannot work independently of each other to bear the weight of the structure.

VR. It’s not just a game.

Read the BBC News article.