Toronto’s new Virtual Reality Lounge and Event Space combines art, culture and technology
Located at Queen St. W and Bathurst is a lounge and event space like no other. Designed by co-founder and creative director Stephanie Payne, House of VR is Toronto’s futuristic hangout equipped with the latest VR technology. Featuring Mixed Reality Green Screen units and 360-degree view pods, House of VR exposes its visitors to the new technology with its countless Virtual Reality headsets. Co-founder Jonah Brotman says “what we have tried to create is this kind of central hub of art, culture and technology in Toronto.”
The colourful pillow lounge where visitors can comfortably be immersed in virtual worlds
Available for groups or individual visitors, House of VR provides virtual experiences that revolve around gaming, education, meditation, sports, tourism and much more. Charged by the hour, groups can book the technology and share the unit in a cozy lounge space. The Mixed Reality Green Screen Experience is equipped with cameras and monitors that allow observers to see the virtual world that their friend or co-worker is immersed in.
On the lower floor, House of VR features Mixed Reality Green Screen Experience Units
Equipped with the Samsung GearVR, individuals can book a personal 360 degree viewing pod to experience immersive art and film videos.
From light installations to painted murals, there is no need to put on a headset to enjoy the various art installations featured throughout the futuristic lounge. The space has attracted “interest from a variety of people who are looking for unique spaces to throw events all within the virtual reality tech realm that kind of bring art, culture and technology together,” says Brotman. At House of VR, art can be found in every corner, including the washrooms.
Facing Queen St. W, wide windows create a green and purple glow
The Infinity Bathroom features a wall of broken mirrors and the quote “All of this is temporary”. But behind the aesthetic of the washroom is an underlying philosophy that strings together the design of the lounge. Brotman says, “our design ethos for the space as we are talking about virtual reality is the knowledge that all art is temporary and a lot of what we create is temporary. We’ve designed this space with that kind of thing in mind, it is going to constantly be changing and iterating.”
A peek into the Infinity Bathroom located on the upper floor of the lounge
Regardless of experience and age, House of VR encourages everyone to try out Virtual Reality technology with their upcoming events. Partnering up with MUSE, House of VR is reinventing mediation with VR technology and MUSE brain sensing headbands. “Meditation Mondays” will combine these two tools in an one-hour evening session. “We just want to create community. That’s the biggest thing, we want to create community to bring people together to try all this stuff.”
Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality Units are each equipped with the latest HTC Vive
House of VR is located at 639 Queen St W, Toronto. For more information visit their official website.
Photos by Megan Yam