The diversity of representations and the complexity of capturing and communicating the design process and its rationale present a challenge to architects. This paper proposes a multimodal virtual reality environment (MVE) aimed at utilizing the inherent advantages of distinct media, as opposed to a stand-alone virtual reality environment. Virtual reality is seen here as one of the tools in the larger milieu of interactive multimedia tools available to architects. The theoretical framework underlying its development explores the role of digital tools in the design process, their adaptability to existing workflow and issues of representation and perception, especially how design ideas are represented, evaluated and manipulated in the mind. The development of MVE followed a cycle of design, usability studies by a focus group and redesign.