Explore the magic of Bill's Attic

Explore the magic of Bill's Attic

Experience Bill's Attic 1:1

We developed a virtual reality installation and an immersive 360 dome experience to make Bill’s Attic accessible to a wider audience.

Bequeathed by Bill Mitchell (1951 – 2017) as a gift for the artist in everyone, to inspire a fresh generation of creators, makers, thinkers and radicals, Bill’s Attic is a physical and digital resource of incredible artefacts, taken from and inspired by Bill’s former workspace.










We were commissioned by Scott Fletcher, producer of the Bill’s Attic digital project, to adapt the existing archive of 3D assets into both a virtual reality experience and an immersive dome installation.

This project was made possible thanks to new funding from Arts Council England (ACE).

All things Bill’s Attic have been organised by Sue Hill, to honour and remember her beloved Bill.

Capturing Bill's Attic

In 2020, Bill’s partner Sue Hill invited Creative Producer Scott Fletcher to commemorate Bill’s eclectic workspace in digital form. The physical contents of Bill’s Attic were due to be transferred to the converted Old Schoolhouse at Krowji, where artists can still apply for residency today, as a ‘creative forge’ and space to respond to Bill’s collection.

It was Bill’s desire that his collection be shared and not hidden, to continue to inspire and provoke fellow artists. Scott was therefore determined to capture Bill’s Attic as it had been left, preserving the space in a variety of digital formats before the contents were moved.

Collaborating with photogrammetrist Steve Flanagan and audio expert Ciaran Clarke, Scott’s team recorded Bill’s Attic as Bill had left it.

By combining photogrammetry scanning, 360 video/photo and ambisonic audio techniques, they conducted extensive mapping of the architecture and collections housed in Bill’s Attic. Including arrays of glass bottles, sea plastic, broken toys, original artworks and so much more, no stone was left unturned.

Benjamin Walbrook then used their assets to create an initial VR experience and 360 content.

Bill's Attic

That's where Curio comes in...

In 2022, Curio inherited the digital assets, including the photogrammetry files, 3D models and existing VR experience.

Scott tasked us with optimising the existing 3D model and commissioned us to develop two immersive Bill’s Attic experiences: an immersive VR experience of the original attic and the dome experience, an evocative walkthrough made of abstracted digital artefacts from the Attic.

Thanks to the existing 3D model and previous VR experience, making Bill’s Attic accessible in virtual reality was fairly straightforward.

We optimised the existing model, performed minor fixes to the windows and staircase, and then generated a point cloud from the model. This creates an atmospheric and ethereal version of the Attic – a dream-like quality which is heightened by Bill’s weird and wonderful collection.

We wanted people to be able to freely roam around the Attic, so they could be guided by their own interest and imagination. 

As the VR experience needed to be used in an open area, we chose to keep the controls simple: encouraging people to navigate the space via handheld controllers, rather than physically moving around.

The result is simple but effective. The evocative nature of the Attic translates well in VR, and the experience is now the only way to view the space 1:1. Transforming the Attic into a dome experience was more challenging.

Whilst we have developed 360° dome experiences in the past, Bill’s Attic was a unique case. The host venue, Plymouth Market Hall has the UK’s only 210° dome, meaning we were limited in the viewpoints we could show.

In order to create an unexpected and dreamy way of navigating the attic, we focused in on the fascinating artefacts of Bill’s Attic in order to capture the essence of this inspiring space.

By transitioning between the point cloud and the solid Attic model, we created a 10 minute experience which immerses audiences in the physical space, whilst retaining the ethereal nature of the Attic.

The dream-like quality is heightened by an original soundscape composed by Scott and played over twelve speakers, ensuring the surround sound array was used to full effect. The audio comprises sounds recorded in the original Attic, layered over echoes of excerpts from interviews with Bill himself.

Its as if you’re looking at a broken jigsaw… the app fills in the gaps. It paints the picture that allows you to travel in time through this Window to the Past.

Tom Morris, Bristol Old Vic Artistic Director

While the collection will live on and grow, the uniqueness and power of its first home, the original Attic could not. It was essential to record the relationship the objects had with each other and their home, before this symbiosis was lost forever.

Scott Fletcher, interdisciplinary digital artist, project director and creative producer

See Bill's Attic for yourself!

Last summer, Zubr Curio’s immersive experience allowed visitors to enjoy a cinematic, point cloud tour of the attic via a dome experience, hosted at Plymouth Market Hall.

Whilst the dome experience is no longer available, our optimised 3D model can still be enjoyed as an immersive VR experience via SideQuest, a platform which allows users to install the VR content for free on the Oculus Quest headset.

Want to explore Bill’s Attic yourself? You can also visit Bill’s Attic to find out more about the project, or enjoy the online 3D tour of the original attic and its cultural connections.

If you’re interested in our other VR work, or want to discuss a potential project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.