Many architecture firms don’t necessarily think about the quality of their website as an expression of their business’s character and standards. It’s understandable — despite architecture’s visual and technical emphasis as a discipline, many transactions aren’t made with individual customers more than larger businesses who learn of such expertise and professionalism through word of mouth or direct observation. But as more companies transition to a mostly online sales model, how a given architectural business presents themselves digitally becomes fundamental to maintaining a healthy business.
Thankfully, many architecture firms, and even freelancers, have already made the transition or established newer online businesses from the get-go.
The following are just a few of the best sites that don’t sacrifice technical know-how and artistic vision for online presentations of what their companies represent.
A collaborative global design practice between many firms, Olson Kundig works with the whole spectrum of residential and commercial property designs. Their homepage’s landing video does fantastic work making visitors feel like they’re immersed and viewing the actual locations instead of getting a general vibe of what they all look like. The site uses an even block structure to sequence examples of their work and service descriptions, which lets each design feel equal in merit and more part of an excellent system of architectural services rather than a company focusing on just one specialty.
GLUCK+ has a uniquely horizontal grid design by default, but their header bar offers three different viewing methods, including a simplistic vertical list for visitors who want to scroll through many projects at once without pictures. Their instructional videos do an impressive job breaking down their design process step-by-step so viewers are both entertained and more prone to trust their professional credibility. Despite the site’s complex appearance and vibrant yellow and gray color choices, the only homepage sections are “process” and “projects,” and each is richly packed with beautiful examples and informative methods.
A collective of designers, architects, and engineers, the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) firm designs some of the worlds most technically advanced buildings and public properties. Their website is packed with information about their projects, descriptions of their philosophy as a business, and trending architectural news. Their homepage’s full-screen video loops are sped up to cleverly show the busy world around their stoic buildings and recreational areas, and every project has detailed information available to anyone on the site, including hard data, ongoing project descriptions, and relevant design techniques.
Architizer focuses on aiding and promoting different architects’ work and is one of the largest platforms for digital architecture. Their homepage’s slogan very clearly describes their work in concise language, and the background image of especially angular rooftops over a clear blue sky helps depict their interests in style and comfort. They include a helpful virtual assistant to answer questions, and the header bar lays out each section clearly even at a glance. Joining as an architect, manufacturer, or consultant is easy with a calls to action in the footer bar, and the homepage’s partitions offer distinct examples of business partners, articles about the general architectural design process, and portfolios of their clients’ work.
ArchDaily is blog that publishes and promotes news about architectural projects and tools for professionals looking to expand their work or study examples online. Their homepage keeps mobile devices in mind with a narrow presentation and plenty of white space at the margins. The landing page shows their most recent entries with descriptive technical information and plenty of beautiful progress shots for each project. One of the most striking features of the site is their “competitions and opportunities” section, which lists many competitions for specific projects around the world.
The Sergey Makhno website delivers an impressive hamburger menu and homepage opening animation that isn’t graphically intense, but still fun. Their visual style takes an initially odd, scattered approach to sequencing information. Each section organizes pictures and text around the center of the blank page instead of directly in it, giving a playful tone that describes their company character. Scrolling through the sections triggers custom animations for each page that enlarge or shrink text and image sizes to catch your eye and express their individuality as a firm.
The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) believes cutting edge architecture needs to be able to adapt to the changing world around it, and their site’s design expresses that adaptability unlike any other. At first, their homepage doesn’t look like anything an architectural firm would want, with a brightly-colored grid of over one hundred small tiles that look like pixels. But moving the mouse cursor around quickly shows that each tile is a clickable project that expands into informative progress pictures and descriptions. Each corner of the screen includes simple, expanding sections for a more traditional view of their services to help visitors navigate their unique project menu.