Interactive, augmented, and virtual reality enables Buro Happold to bring unbuilt environments to life.

Whilst these devices are just part of our engineers’ technological “toolbox”, they are increasingly useful in not only displaying projects in an engaging way, but also in communicating complex design issues to colleagues and clients. AR and VR allow for a deeper level of refinement and adjustment to every design, resulting in truly visionary, transformative outcomes.

Our visualisation team work alongside BuroHappold’s engineers to create realistic virtual building and cities, and interactive experiences. By incorporating comprehensive data from across all disciplines, our AR/VR experts create detailed, accurate models that engineers use to monitor and assess people flow, and study MEP systems, acoustics and lighting in a useful, visual way.

AR and VR allows us to work more closely with our collaborators. Realistic, immersive modelling makes design decisions easier, resulting in tighter, value-led solutions. Clients benefit from immersive, realistic representation of their projects.

The way we use visualisation tools in our design work is constantly evolving. We work at the very edge of what can be done, and will continue to do so.

Get in touch with our BuroHappold visualisation specialists if you feel that AR and VR should be part of your transformative engineering project.

Visualisation services we offer


  • 3D animation
    Great for visualising your project. You can tell the story of how it will function, integrate itself into the environment and make a difference to people’s lives.
  • Augmented reality (AR)
    This is a way of overlaying 3D objects onto the real world and tracking its position through the camera on a phone or tablet.
  • 360 – degree animation
    This technique plays an animation but gives the user complete control over the direction they’re looking in, using a mouse cursor or head-mounted display.
  • Virtual reality (VR)
    VR is a fully immersive experience allowing you to explore and interact within a digital environment. Understanding a space within VR can be beneficial in developing a deeper understanding of scale, as well as spotting possible issues that may go unnoticed on a 2D plan or 3D model.
  • Mobile (VR)
    A way of viewing virtual reality content on a mobile device using a portable head mounted display.

Project highlights

Solving seismic stress with a 360-degree visualisation of the lab

Fondazione RI.Med Foundation Biomedical and Biotechnology Centre

Our visualisation team created a 360-degree visualisation of the building, to be shown via a Google headset at an industry event.

This helped attendees visualise how the raft and beam system our engineers created formed an integral part of the design developed to withstand the significant seismic stress put upon buildings in the region.

Deeper understanding and closer client connection

Hollywood Burbank Airport Concept Validation

“The visualisation team created a Google Cardboard VR model for the Hollywood Burbank Airport Concept Validation project. I used this the day we had to present the cost model to the client for the first time. I pulled out the Google Cardboards and everyone tried it out – it completely changed the vibe of the room, the client said, ‘We’re going to build this project!’”

Patti Harburg-Petrich, US West Coast Aviation Sector Leader/ Principal

Tottenham Hotspur retractable pitch

Be there before it’s even built

Tottenham Hotspur FC

We created a 360-degree virtual tour of the Tottenham Stadium to show off highlights of the stadium such as the single-tier home stand and the sliding pitch. We also showed how the new stadium would be built around the existing stadium whilst still in use. This is a fully immersive experience with a voiceover guiding you through each scene, and viewed through a google cardboard visor or on a PC or tablet.

Gamification that teaches stadium design principles

This unique way of demonstrating the composite metrics that make up a stadium’s performance enables clients and engineers to understand the complexity of stadium design, and ultimately create better performing venues in all areas.

Participation is key in this virtual reality game launched at a key industry event. It allows ‘players’ to create their own stadium. Participants set their budget then customise their stadium, choosing everything from from the bowl, to the facade, roof height, and food and beverages. Together, these all form part of the fan experience, with a leader board for those achieving the highest fan rating.

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