Artist renders of Yamanto Central.
Artist renders of Yamanto Central.

Take a sneak peak at new shopping precinct

VIRTUAL reality is allowing potential retailers and customers to get a sneak peek of new shopping centres before they have been built.

Leasing and sales teams wanting to fill vacancies in new retail developments are using virtual reality (VR) technology show site potential to prospective tenants - without them having to leave their home or office.

Leading architectural, interior and graphic design firm Buchan recently produced a detailed 360-degree VR retail tour for Yamanto Central, a master planned 20,000sqm shopping, dining and lifestyle destination.

Construction is due to start this year.

Senior associate Anthony Rawson said Buchan used VR to allow leasing agents to provide a more accurate impression of the design and space to potential retailers interested in a tenancy.

"Nearly all forms of visualisation involve technical elements such as plans, elevations and sections, which require a large degree of interpretation by the viewer," he said.

"Even highly stylised views, such as ultra wide-angle perspectives, can lack context and provide an overly dramatic impression of a design.

"While scale physical models can help with these limitations and understanding the built form, they still lack the ability to convey the experience of being within a building or viewing a structure at true scale - this is where VR is so effective.

As the technology has evolved, practitioners have been able to add point-to-point navigation, infographics, plan reference information and spatial sound to their VR tours.

Mr Rawson said VR, particularly headset VR, was also valuable early in the design process, helping identify design challenges and prompt quick iterations - effectively saving time and resources.

Development consulting group DMA Partners has been tasked with populating the retail space in Yamanto Central.

DMA senior leasing executive Ewen Burg said using VR technology to deliver a compelling virtual experience enabled prospective tenants to immerse themselves in the possibilities of the site.

"VR allows us to provide prospective tenants with something tangible. We are no longer talking with retailers about a concept - we are now able to show them the centre and individual store structure well before construction commences," he said.

"The leasing strategy has always focused on introducing retailers to the unique opportunity the centre provides. The 3D visualisation puts people on the ground, allowing them to walk through Yamanto Central and experience the benefits of location and demonstrate the calibre of design first hand.

"This is absolutely something DMA Partners will look to roll out across future projects."

View Yamanto Central's retail tour https://www.yamanto au/