Step Inside Your Architectural Models Using Augmented Reality

SketchUp Viewer enables architects to fully immerse themselves and experience their ideas through 1:1 holographic scale models.

Kweku Addo-Atuah Kweku Addo-Atuah

“The biggest problem an architect has is getting from the screen into physical space,” says architect Greg Lynn. Enter SketchUp Viewer, a brand-new mixed-reality app for Microsoft HoloLens, developed by SketchUp developer Trimble.

With this new app, architects now have the means to fully immerse themselves and experience their ideas in 1:1 holographic scale models, jump-starting decision-making from inception all the way through to implementation. ‘Immersion Mode’ is the feature that gives users the abilities to inhabit their holographic models and move freely through them at any development stage.

SketchUp Viewer, Lynn states, ‘’brings designs to life by bridging the gap between 2D, 3D and physical space.” Possessing a remote collaboration capability, the mixed-reality technology is set to transform the design process, empowering architects to more effectively visualize, present ideas and manage complex projects in real time.

SketchUp Viewer, which uses the AR|VR Extension for SketchUp Desktop and is compatible with Trimble’s 3D Warehouse and Connect components, grants users the choice to manipulate and examine their constructions from multiple perspectives. Perhaps the real jewel of this technology is its ease in helping architects anchor their digital models in actual physical space, understanding more clearly how their vision fits into the context. Aside from its general visualization and immersive capabilities, SketchUp Viewer includes several panels that cater to more specialized needs.


In tandem with “Immersive Mode,” the ‘Map Navigator’ plug-in lets users pinpoint and zoom into more specific locations, while the ‘Scenes’ panel is excellent for navigating previously specified and saved SketchUp scenes. SketchUp Viewer represents yet another development in how technology is transforming the design and construction industry, with regard to efficient designer-client interfacing and helping circumvent prior difficulties in communicating ideas.

Via SketchUp

For more information on SketchUp Viewer, go here. For the AR|VR extension, go to SketchUp’s Extension Warehouse. To purchase Microsoft HoloLens devices, go to the MicroSoft Store here.

SketchUp Viewer advocate Greg Lynn is a 2008 Golden Lion winner from the Venice Biennale and a professor at both the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and University of Applied Arts, Vienna.

Read more articles by Kweku

Shine On: Fundamentals of Lighting Architectural Elements

Lighting has the ability to transform a project and how it’s experienced more than you may rea lize, particularly when it’s used to highlight vertical surfaces and ornaments. Consider, for a moment, what the New York City skyline would be like at night without the recognizable beacon that is the Empire State Building’s crown. The building’s…

© BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group

Hyperloop One Dubai // BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Dubai, United Arab Emirates