A house designed by Wright between the buildings of Ashiya for virtual tours: The Asahi Shimbun

ASHIYA, Hyogo Prefecture: Interactive 3D virtual reality photographs have been created to promote to the world three historic buildings of modernist architecture in the city of Ashiya.

One of the buildings featured in the VR content is the Yodoko Guest House (the former residence of the Yamamura family). Designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), it was completed in 1924 and is designated as an important cultural asset.

The other two buildings, the former Ashiya Post Office (Ashiya Monolith) telephone exchange and the former Miyazuka-cho housing complex, are government-registered tangible cultural properties.

A 3-D CGI model of the former Ashiya Post Office telephone exchange (Ashiya Monolith) (supplied by Hacosco Inc.)

Virtual reality service provider Hacosco Inc., based in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, presented the idea of ​​the project to the Ashiya city government after taking note of the three buildings. A production committee consisting of members of Hacosco and the city’s education council was then founded.

Online visitors can view each building in two different programs.

One is through a panoramic 3D photograph gathered from multiple digital images of the outside shot by a drone. The other uses an interactive photo that allows viewers to virtually walk around the structure and through the structure by tapping the screen.

“We expect people to see the images and visit the actual sites when the new coronavirus pandemic sets in,” an education board official said.

Virtual tours can be accessed by scanning the QR code with a smartphone or tablet or by visiting the special website at (https://hacosco.com/ashiyakindai/).

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