The revamped website is a break away from the tradition of architectural websites. What it lacks in architectural jargon, it makes up in plenty of content and character. The site brings among other things a more ‘personal’ touch, which some may find lacking in other similar websites. Architecture still plays a pivotal role and is at the heart of the practice’s online presence; archiving a collection of the studio’s best ‘projects’. However, as important as the final architectural creations, a portal into the inner workings of the practice is offered. It gives the visitor a glimpse into the different sectors of the studio’s ‘architecture‘ and (for the first time ever) views into how the ‘practice‘ is run and the ‘thinking‘ which form part of the foundations of the office.
Foundations of Architecture
Historically the office is known well as a Glasgow-based architecture practice with a general perception that its particular strength lie in architectural ‘conservation‘. However, the studio has evolved over the last 30 years gaining experience and stature in its ‘arts & culture‘ buildings, creating dynamic ‘creative workspaces‘, building ‘places to live‘ as well as masterplanning in the ‘city & land‘. The practice term these varying facets as their ‘Centres of Gravity’ or ‘CoG’ for short.
Practice makes Perfect
The ‘practice’ section gives a flavour of the management and personality of the office through the ‘ethos‘ and ‘culture‘ sections as well as places faces behind the architecture in the ‘people‘ section. The section also takes the visitor through the ‘workshop‘ section where graphic design, conceptual and final scale models as well as interiors form a fundamental part of the practice’s design process. The ‘model making‘ section in particular gives relief to the dominance of digital and printed media as contemporary architectural presentation techniques, and is definitely worth a look!
Engrained as part of the office culture is ‘thinking‘ about architecturally related subjects. Contributions from all studio members are welcomed, encouraged and in some cases form the basis of the practice’s Monday Morning discussions. These discussions are held on a weekly basis in the office and the ‘monday-word‘ section is an archive of these sessions. These discussions potentially form the seeds to wider discussions outwith the practice, leading to the organised ‘seminars‘ and written ‘papers‘.
Design & Layout
There are two distinct characters to the design and layout of the website. Firstly, the dual-use of large photographs as backdrops (e.g. homepage & overview pages) as well as main images (particularly in the project pages) is a clever means of keeping consistency in the display of images throughout the site. The use of ‘pull-out’ text bar to the left gives flexibility to show and hide text related content when scrolling through images.
Secondly, the ‘news’ and ‘thinking’ sections have a more journalistic feel. These pages are more text-based which lends itself to a ‘newspaper’ or ‘blog’ type character, with smaller vignettes inserted between textual content.
The top navigation is evident and consistent throughout the site making navigation more readily and easy.
Finally, the site has been ingeniously designed to react to all display platforms, ensuring consistent viewing and navigation over desktop, tablet and mobile devices.