Rafaella Siagkri

Architecture PhD Student


‘Le Caligarisme’, Architectural Space and Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality as an Investigative Tool to Better Understand Architecture in Cinema in the case study of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

Many films have created impressive architectural innovations throughout the history of cinema and have driven film productions towards the awareness of architectural approach. Expressionism does not have the same prevalence within the field of architecture. Architectural critics, who analyse expressionist architecture, are considering the lack of physical structures. Therefore they have to refer to expressionist architectural examples found on paper or films. According to film theorists, such as Siegfried Kracauer, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Robert Wiene (1920) is considered as one of the most representative expressionistic examples.

This research assesses the significance of VR as a reconstruction tool for early film sets and examines VR as an investigative tool to understand better abstract expressionist architecture in films through the evaluation of archival materials. The transformation of the two-dimensional drawings into three-dimensional virtual space contributes to the creation of a contemporary interpretation of a historic film sets and the identification of reasons for the absence of expressionist architecture as physical structure. This research contributes on the preservation of cultural heritage, not only from a film-making perspective but also from an architectural standpoint.