Takehiko NAGAKURA | Joshua CHOI
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA)

Keywords: Panorama, Video, Architectural History, Digital Heritage

In an essay on architectural representation, Stan Allen (2000) wrote about a paradoxical nature of built forms. “Buildings are presumably more tangible and physically present than drawings, yet it is only in the experience of the building that the most intangible aspects of reality can be made visible.”
Documenting a heritage site is difficult since no representation method can make an exact copy without loss. This paper specifically examines panoramic recording media and related technologies as new means to archive, and represent architectural heritage. It looks at cost effective and widely available platforms such as 360 video camera systems, YouTube, and immersive HMD equipment. Subject tests are conducted to see how the experience of recorded panoramic sequence compares to spatial and temporal experience in the physical space. For instance, the subjects with HMD are tested for the ability of sensing the correct scale of spatial forms in the playback. And through analysis of the test results, discussions are made as to the roles such systems can play in conveying the spatial environment, especially in representing what Allen wrote as its intangible aspects: the play of light, shadow, and atmosphere as well as the parallax effects produced by the movement of the spectator.
As examples, the paper then demonstrates prototype exhibit designs that processed panoramically recorded footage into derivative forms. With recordings on sites such as Palladio’s villas, Acropolis in Athens, and Japanese historic temples, it shows spatial and temporal editing of raw footage, its superimposition with drawings, interactive display combining a panoramic walk-through with a map, and a framed video narrative produced from panoramic videos. These methods illustrate a range of curatorial possibilities that put each dislocated recording back into context, and shed a light to what is often difficult to achieve by 3D models.

Relevance conference:
As a new form of data archive, panoramic recordings can potentially play a unique, cost effective role in capturing intangible sense of heritage space, and conveying the way visitors perceive it.

Relevance session:
360 video is explosively marketed during this past year as new format distributable on YouTube and promoted with emerging 360 cameras and HMD products from Samsung, HTC, Oculus, Nikon, LG and Google.



For architectural heritage, this paper discusses and illustrates use of panoramic media as a tool for representation of spatial and temporal experience, instead of just documenting the form itself.

ALLEN, Stan (2000):
Practice, Architecture, Technique and Representation (Critical Voices in Art, Theory, and Culture), The Gordon and Breach Publishing Company.
CUMMINGS, James J. / BAILENSON, Jeremy N. (2015): How Immersive Is Enough? A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Immersive Technology on User Presence. Media Psychology. 1-38.