Virtuplex Showcases Transformation of St. Gabriel Church in VR

Cooperation with the Virtuplex provided the client with a singular tool to present its project to key investors while perfecting the architectural proposal.

CIMEX is a private investment group focused on office buildings, residential projects, and hotels. The group owns the largest Czech hotel chain OREA Hotels and Resorts, which has 20 hotels throughout the Czech Republic in the most attractive locations in the Czech Republic such as Prague, Brno, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše), the Bohemian Forest (Šumava), the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands (Vysočina) and Mariánské Lázně. The portfolio also includes 13 administrative buildings in Prague and Karlovy Vary. CIMEX also invests into hotel and residential projects in the US.

One of CIMEX’s most prestigious projects is the transformation of the St. Gabriel church and its surroundings in Prague 5 into a five-star luxury hotel. CIMEX acquired the Romanesque former Benedictine monastery with Beuron-stlye interior décor in 2019. It renamed the complex Gabriel Loci, and it became a centre for various events for filmmakers, artists, theatres, and history lovers.

This remarkable complex was built in 1888-1891.

Because of the complexity of this transformation, CIMEX decided to employ the Virtuplex, whose developers transposed the complex into virtual reality including the neighbouring plots so the design can be seen in an appropriate context.

“We see the use of virtual reality as becoming standard operating procedure in the case of complex development projects, especially with buildings that are protected as historical landmarks as is the case here. Historical officials prefer being able to see the real presence of the building and understand everything they need,” Virtuplex representative Michael Sido said.

VR: An Effective Tool to Present Projects 

The 1:1 transposition into virtual reality allowed the client to present a highly realistic version of the architectural design. This solution meant the user could be standing next to the building one minute, and then look down on the complex from a bird’s-eye view and see how it blends in with its surroundings. The fact that 6 people at a time could enter the virtual space saved everyone time, and the client was especially pleased by the immediate feedback from historical preservation officials and representatives of Prague 5. The use of VR also meant the whole process was a pleasant experience and the positive effect of using this technology helped build a friendly atmosphere among all those who took part.

Extended Reality App for the Public

A mobile app is being developed in cooperation between CIMEX and the Virtuplex that will allow the public to see the future appearance of the complex. Anyone will be able see what the church will look like after the renovation is complete using QR codes located around the constructions site. According to the preliminary plans, the transformation should begin in 2026.

“If I had known about the way the Virtuplex works with virtual reality, I would have incorporated it into the entire renovation already in the conceptual stage of the study. The work absolutely fulfilled my expectations, and the use of virtual reality is an absolute must for more complicated projects. I would certainly note that contrary to a boring presentation on a computer screen or on paper, virtual reality brings the excitement of all the participants into the process. The entire experience becomes a social event that no online presentation can match.”

CIMEX GROUP Development Director Jiří Bartoš