The hyperreal approach stresses that the atmosphere of space and its ability to ignite emotions are the primary qualities that determine our experience of architecture. The role of tactile perception in this experience is either equal to or surpasses human vision. This is why hyperreal archviz strives to recreate the tactile – or, better, multisensory – perception of architecture that is possible only in physical space.
Professional architects understand that the feeling of mass, atmosphere, and mood is an integral part of any built environment. Those ephemeral qualities make a crucial influence on the psychological state of people who will be using that space. This is why they must be accounted for in design proposals. Therefore, it is the job of architectural rendering studios to add those layers to the visualization, even though they are not easily represented in an image.
Hyperreal archviz tends to use well-established methods of creating an emotional atmosphere that had previously been developed in painting and photography, theater and movie set design.
The most widely-used methods are based on the choice of emotionally-charged color palettes and the interplay of light and dark in any combination. The dynamic or static composition can convey the feeling of energy or contemplation, danger or safety, drama or calmness – and any other dichotomy between the potential action or inaction. Enchantment is invoked by the visual rhythm between elements of similar shapes – the curves of a river and a house roof, diagonals in the roads and the walls of a barn, the red color of the doors and the setting sun, etc. Aerial perspective may range from the unnaturally clear air that strengthens the feeling of hyperawareness to the thick fog that may be associated with sweet sadness and quiet contemplation.
Illustration: "Lumos" by Iddqd Studio.
Changes in perspective and angle applied to a single project result in an emotional range that starts with the coziness of a closed corner and ends with the open space of a free bird flight. A smart choice of angle may be used for storytelling without the need to add unnecessary people or objects into the image. If the building has an open gallery, it may be represented either through the exterior of a well-lit warm gallery on a dark and rainy evening or through the view from inside the cool sheltered gallery onto the shiny sunlit patio. Both options result in totally different scenarios for the same design.
Since emotional perception is inseparable from our experience of space, hyperreal archviz may be considered more realistic than photorealism. Atmospheric hyperreal visualization shows architecture in its social and spatial context. From a purely artistic geometric abstraction of shapes and lines, it turns into a living entity from a specific place.
We may argue that this seemingly unnecessary and decorative element of visualization may become the secret ingredient that will help digital archviz become “grounded in ambitions for improving the world, rather than sugar-coated versions of reality“.
Header illustration: "Amandsplein 8" by Iddqd Studio.