Viewing Historic Buildings in Point Cloud VR


Pretend you are a historian studying Islamic domes and iwans. These structures are often decorated with pendentives, squinches, and muqarnas.

top: squinches

bottom: pendentives under a dome

diagram of pendentive and squinch

top: muqarnas in an iwan

bottom: muqarnas in a dome

muqarnas (decorative element of repeating squinches) in an iwan structure


Part A

  1. We will split into VR and laptop groups, then into group 1 and 2. Everyone will pick a site to explore and try to identify a squinch, pendentive, or muqarnas structure. Take a screenshot when you find one.

  2. Click on a site link to view. In VR, open this page ( on oculus browser and click the different links.

Site Group 1

Site Group 2

  1. Switch your device and pick from the other site group and repeat


  • look in domes, arches, entryways, and iwans

  • use the hamburger menu on the top left corner to change navigation modes on laptop

  • enter VR on Oculus browser by clicking the VR button under the menu

  • navigate VR with joysticks and rotate and scale site with trigger buttons

  • to exit VR press the hamburger menu button on the controller

Part B

Using the measuring tool

  1. Click the link of your favorite site from above

  2. On laptop, click the hamburger menu on the top left corner of the view box

  3. Scroll down to the measurement tools

  4. Measure height and width of a doorway

  5. Take a screenshot



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