Gettys Group VR by Theia Interactive

The Gettys Group uses VR to streamline hotel design

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Theia Interactive used Unreal Engine and Optim to create experience for TownePlace Suites in Nashville


To help save time and money on the design of Marriott International’s TownePlace Suites hotel complex in downtown Nashville, The Gettys Group enlisted the help of visualisation expert Theia Interactive to develop a collaborative VR solution,

Using Unreal Engine and its Optim collaborative template, Theia created a fully rendered, high-quality 3D build of the hotel in VR, giving the designers the ability to walk its virtual halls and make design changes on the fly.

The hotel – which opened in Nashville’s Capitol District in October 2020 – includes 204 suites and studios, a 50-person meeting space, an outdoor courtyard and several other amenities, including a rooftop bar.

The virtual model allowed the designers to change every aspect of the look, including the furniture, the floor, the colour of the paint and more. The model also featured dynamic lighting to show how things would look in daylight and at night.

As the design came together, stakeholders had the ability to tour the 3D model remotely, either on their desktop or by putting on a headset and wandering around the model in VR. They could then leave notes for the designers, or even have full voice conversations with them in real time, all without having to leave their own home or office. The designers also had access to a fully-equipped virtual planning space where they could collaborate remotely as needed (in or out of VR).

Once the TownePlace Suites visualization model was complete, The Gettys Group reached out to hospitality management firm Big Little Fish and offered a virtual tour of the 4,500-square-foot rooftop bar.

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The group immediately saw the potential and leased both a coffee shop in the lobby and the rooftop bar. They brought in chef Aaron Thebault, a rising star in the culinary world, and opened the fine dining establishment Zeppelin on November 6, 2020.

“We had a strong vision for TownePlace Suites, and we knew from experience that Theia could relay our vision via real-time rendering,” said Ron Swidler, chief innovation officer at The Gettys Group.

“The combination of Theia, CloudXR and AWS helped make our vision a reality, and it helped others, including our stakeholders and tenants like Zeppelin and Moonshot Coffee Bar, buy into the vision as well. We are thrilled with the outcome!”


Theia will appear at Nvidia GTC 2021 to discuss this and other recent projects. Fishkin, Swidler and Nvidia senior manager of global business development XR Greg Jones, will deliver the session “Faster Approvals, Fewer Redesigns: Learn How Nvidia’s Cloud XR and AWS Supercharge the Getty Group’s Iterative Design Process.” The session will be released on April 12 at 4:00pm PDT.

Gettys Group VR TownePlace Suites

Gettys Group VR TownePlace Suites

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