Client: Zweckverband Rheintaler Binnenkanal 2021/22

The Rhine River Valley inland canal (Rheintaler Binnenkanal) begins in Switzerland in the municipality of Sennwald and continues the old course of the Rhine in St. Margrethen, which flows into Lake Constance at Altenrhein. The canal is used for fishing and is a popular recreational area.

The channel has a high damage potential, so various options for flood protection were examined in a broad-based planning process The planned design protects the communities in the middle Rhine valley from flooding and also greatly enhances local recreation in the affected area through the associated revitalisation of the watercourse. The planned measures include the construction of a retention area, channel widening, drainage measures and instream measures with bank structuring.

In order to enable precise planning, hydronumerical calculations were made in advance. The flood scenarios calculated here show the flooding conditions relevant for planning. For illustration and communication purposes, a “physical” water construction model on a scale of 1:40 was also built. Using the “real” model, the flooding behaviour of the numerical calculation can not only be checked but also vividly communicated.

A range of visualizations was commissioned in order to communicate all the planned measures in a comprehensible way and at an early stage. In close cooperation with the general planner, NRP Ingenieure AG, the planners of Holinger AG and Zweckverband, mach:idee created visualisations of the measures using detailed illustrations, animation sequences, a VR application and AR elements.

We created

  • digital terrain models of the entire area and detailed solutions
  • Detailed models and scientific illustrations of the planned detailed solutions
  • A trailer with many animation sequences to provide an overview of the entire measure.
  • A VR application for an interactive walk-through of the entire project perimeter with the help of our mi-box.
  • AR applications presenting the partial models in the physical model
  • and various printed matter


The Rhine Valley inland canal (Rheintaler Binnenkanal) –

NRP Ingenieure AG –

Holinger AG –

Illustration and animation

VR application

The entire planning area was realised as a walk-through 3D VR application. The area can be explored on one’s own using the mouse/keyboard or the controller developed by mach:idee. Additional information provides an overview of the planned measures. The hydronumerically calculated water level can be displayed and shows the course of the flooding.

AR – augmented reality application

In order to be able to display the detailed models within the physical test model, these were installed on Android tablets using an AR application.

By means of a tracker, the virtual models can thus be superimposed on the physical model created at a scale of 1:20.

Data preparation

Software for data processing