Heyoon VR

Inspired by the captivating episode of 99% Invisible, I designed a Virtual Reality rendition of the mysterious Heydon Pavilion.

This otherworldly structure was designed in real life by Joseph Kinnebrew for his friends Rita and Peter Heydon. Over time, the location has become a secret hangout spot for some of the local teens, much to the vexation of its owners. The pavilion was given the nickname “Heyoon” after some visitors saw the words “Heydon Pavilion” etched in a glass plaque at the top of the stairs and mistook the “D” for an “O”.

I have wanted to see the pavilion ever since I first heard the podcast; however due to the location being off limits to the public, this was unlikely to happen. When thinking of ideas for my first VR project, Heyoon came to mind. I recreated the pavilion based on the descriptions by Alex Goldman and the illustrations by Emile Holmewood. The great thing about VR is that it can be used to create experiences that would otherwise be impossible. Now this marvelous structure can be enjoyed by whoever wishes to visit.

Visit Heyoon Here.

Mild spoilers below:

This experience starts at night, with you near the edge of a forest, and your car parked alongside the street. Attached to a wooden fence that surrounds forest, there is a foreboding sign warning you to turn back and not enter. Next to the sign, you see a lighter resting on a post. The lighter will help light the path beyond the fence that leads into the forest, if you choose to disregard the sign.

As you travel through the trees, you glimpse something in the distance: an otherworldly structure the likes of which you have never seen. As you make your way towards the structure, you notice it resides in a clearing and slowly its strangeness starts to morph into a sense of serenity.

As you climb up the steps and take in the structure, you begin to feel something else, a feeling as if sensing that this place was made for you. This is more than a mysterious structure in the middle of the woods; it is your secret, your refuge, your sanctuary. You notice another sign posted on the structure, instructing you to respect and take care of it, and promising its own beauty and peace from the spirit of its creator as your reward. You decide to stay a while, admiring this mysterious and serene discovery.


After I launched the VR environment, the reporter who told the story of Heyoon and the network the podcast aired on both commented on it. I also received an email from the pavilion’s architect, congratulating me, and letting me know that he had shown the VR Environment to his friends.

A guy told me his college dissertation was a play based on the story. And then just last week, a designer told me he had recreated it in VR. He did a spectacular job, btw. https://t.co/mMg2OqkziA pic.twitter.com/INotHGCx21

— Alex Goldman (@AGoldmund) June 9, 2018

I don’t even know what to say, other than this is a remarkably accurate model of Heyoon. https://t.co/eMuVJHJtao

— Alex Goldman (@AGoldmund) June 5, 2018

And I am also very impressed

— Alex Goldman (@AGoldmund) June 5, 2018

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