I considered looking for three interesting, useful and beautiful architecture websites when several of my prospects presented themselves as architects with ambitions to project themselves into the future of the 21st century. For this entry I decided to observe and analyze the website of Home of Poklonnaya 9, a luxury apartment and hotel project. The detail will be told after this introduction.
Where I live there is too much urban development project alienated from its environment, whose purpose is to suck money and puff up its intoxicated architect in abstractions. These architects could well dedicate themselves to service rather than to the mirror, make this a better world, pleasant to see and then earn both respect and livelihood.
The Internet is a great opportunity to connect with a number of people until recently inaccessible, to know their needs, desires and aspirations, and then consider projects not only from a university theory imported from what matters where, but from below, from the bottom up. the earth, to know where to place the cornerstone on a floor much bigger than the head of the most intelligent person in the world.
To tell the truth, I owe it to the Internet to have met several people with the ability to share and teach to appreciate the value of architecture and its interaction with the environment where it lives. Urban planning thought of the pedestrian, the neighbor, his family and his walk, the neighborhood and its parks, the neighborhood next to its forests, rivers, lakes, mountains or seas.
My interest in searching three best architecture websites
When magazines in the 1990s promoted the Internet as the great information highway, they were wrong. The Internet was slow, it was disconnected all the time and at any time computer viruses got into computers to damage them. They got it right when they invited them to surf the web. Because the Internet is not a great way. At best, social networks today are streets full of newspaper vendors and people with important opinions. No, the Internet is an ocean.
Many of us will not plunge into the watery abysses of the Internet, teeming with antediluvian monsters. Not even with a submarine. Some of us will travel on yachts, pirate whaling ships or sailboats and we will tell chronicles of our trips to the sites of our interest. My professional interest as a web designer, with a little influence of my own taste, is to create the best experience (UX) and interface (UI) for the visitor. That is why learning from the best is a good opportunity.
The art of dialogue with immobile objects
The customer experience is the best sales tool, behold the enormous work of Walt Disney as an example. For example, in the Magic Kingdom theme park, each square meter offers something to be appreciated by visitors, discounting the attractions themselves. Not to mention, as a walkable city planner and urban architect, his work is second to none.
Did you know…
… when an adult approaches the statue of Cinderella because of his height, he does not see the crown on Cinderella's head, but a child from his shorter perspective does?
…the bricks on the top of Cinderella's castle are smaller than the bricks on the bottom to make it look bigger than it is?
Such an elaborately designed amusement park is too immersive and satisfying an experience for many visitors, and for that they are grateful. They happily buy a ball with Mickey Mouse's face at the park store for USD$25, when in the toy store in town they would find the exact same ball at $5.
Responsive experience and easy to navigate interface
The Disney experience model, so effective, is studied in business schools and is applied to all fields. I remember sitting down to read the thoughtful and successful business proposal, modeled on the Disney experience, for a house cleaning company. Perhaps later I will write an entry dedicated only to this anecdote.
Similarly, a website can provide a responsive experience like a substantial appetizer.
A good user interface, on the other hand, invites quality interaction that is readable, interesting, and satisfying. A button activates an eye-catching video in a precise context, an easy-to-deploy form prepares a service like someone who chooses the flavors of an ice cream and a popup subtle informs the user about a gift to receive for his visit.
In a series of posts I will tell about various websites built around a theme. I want to know the niches and different ways of presenting products or services. I'll illustrate how the user experience works and what some of the interface purposes of these sites are. I will share my vision of web design and, incidentally, I will show the usefulness of a blog.
In this post I will start with the architecture and interior design of a luxury hotel and at the same time an apartment building with hotel services, located near the legendary city of Moscow, the capital of Russia.
Poklonnaya 9, a Grand Hotel and luxury apartment building
Poklonnaya is the mount with the best view over Moscow. The word derives from the verb "to bow", a bow was expected from visitors to the city when they arrived and saw it from there. In this place, moreover, it was where Napoleon waited in vain for the delivery of the keys to the city when he arrived there. During the Soviet period, in 1960, the authorities built the Victory Museum there to commemorate the moment when Napoleon was defeated.
Hence the subtitle under the name of the hotel: “the new peak in the history of the city”. The view of Moscow from the top of the tower perhaps it is one of the most valuable experiences to take advantage of.
Poklonnaya is a street and 9 the number on the street. The whole area is very rich and interesting to visit. Throughout the website, as I will explain later, the invitation to get to know and participate from the surroundings of the hotel to enjoy Moscow abounds. It is not a project that is believed to be isolated from the environment where it lives, but part of a city, its life and its history.
Personally, the facade of the building and the interior design are not to my taste. However, I do see the opportunity to discover within it a mystery story. Inside I find it more pleasant, although I am not a fan of art deco neither. If they invite me, I'm not complaining, yes, the service must be as spectacular as the website. However, I would not stay long, the cult of opulence saturates me a bit. I would be more interested in a house in a Moscow neighborhood close to that area.
The first section of the page Home
A black background as a curtain. In the center, the name of Poklonnaya 9 lights up in orange as the entrance lights of a place that is both bohemian and elegant on a night street frequented by many people to have fun after work.
Then the building appears in front of the name, at a great distance, it almost seems small to the eyes of the person looking at the screen. Two gray towers, connected by the first and last floors. Hundreds of windows, all separated and illuminated. Behind the name, the sky of a sunset when the sun has already gone down. Below, the lights of Moscow like liquid gold behind a forest, and this forest behind the building. At the foot of the building, the street surrounded by trees and bathed in light.
All this goes into a small photograph in the center, it only occupies a third of the screen. Except for the name, it's as long as the screen, going in and out of the photo in front of the sky in the background and behind the building. Below the letter “L” a transparent circle with a thin orange border appears with a thin arrow in the center: when the mouse above the border it turns white and is revealed as a button. Below the "9" a caption says "the new peak in the history of the city". Behind the photo the outline of a giant gray feather sits against a black background.
And wait, because we haven't scrolled down yet. This visual content bomb was produced in just 3 seconds.
By turning the wheel in the center of the mouse to scroll down the page, or by pressing the button under the "L", the photo grows and goes out of the screen, the building becomes gigantic and now has another peculiarity. On three different sections of the building there are black circles with a “+” sign in the center. One above the towers, another in the middle and the last one almost below. Next to each one is a different title, with a subheading of floor numbers. They say “Penthouses: floors 29-32”, “Apartments: floors 8-28” and “5* Hotel SO/: floors 1-7”. When passing the mouse above each black circle, these change to white and the titles appear inside a card with a description of each section of the building.
These circles are a resource for web designers to point out certain parts and characteristics of a product on their hero images, and are called hotspots.
The invitation to participate in a dream for a day
When we move to see the foot of the building, it is covered from left to right with three elements.
- An orange rectangle with text reminds us of the entrance ticket to a reception.
- A square with the image of a very elegant couple with their backs to the photographer over a subtitle like a whisper: “Spend a day at Poklonnaya 9”. To one side of the couple, an orange arrow points to the right and as you pass the mouse on the image, it grows a bit and the arrow changes to white. A click on the image takes the visitor to another page of the website.
With a dance pass we went to another page of the site…
- In the new page a transparent clock appears in the center, surrounded by three spheres. In the background, the full color image of an activity to do at that time. Clicking on each sphere changes the background image and activity. As the spheres rotate with the button in the middle of the mouse, the hours go by and the background images change with the information of the activities to enjoy the moment, inside and outside the hotel.
A large "X" inside a square, at the top left of the page, lets us out of this clock and another page under the first one, titled "The art of life: the peak of enjoyment" shows us even more of the places and activities that we could enjoy the place. Bike rides, theaters, historical places, parties, shopping, Moscow parks...
With an invitation at the end to select an apartment.
- Back in the first section of the page Home, on the right side of the square with the image of the couple, we see a square whose background is a part of the gray feather at the bottom of the page. At the top right of the square is a triangular sign of play (“▷”) above the subtitle “Video about the project”. One click of mouse there it takes us to another page where there is not a video, but two of great quality.
Here ends, just, the first section of the page of Home of this monumental website.
The rest of the page Home (and from the site)
Every section and page of this website is loaded with information to the brim, yet its presentation is subtle and playful. How does this work? The designers took various themes to show piece by piece in the different sections and interspersed the themes so they didn't repeat themselves.
The themes are:
- The exteriors of the building. This includes the facade, nearby and not-so-close tourism. Although they emphasize enjoying closeness.
- The interior design of enormous proportion. From general recreation spaces to the variety of styles (3) when choosing an apartment. There is a page titled Design.
- The visitor experience and its benefits. This is present in all sections; however, in some it carries the main accent.
- The constant promise of enjoying a dream place (copywriting).
- The invitation to choose an apartment.
The same themes abound throughout the website, without boring the visitor, but delving into architecture, design and interaction with the environment.
How are the themes interspersed? For example, on the page of Home follow this order:
- The first section of the page Home It was on the exterior of the building.
- The second, on the general interior and its design (panoramic pool, lobby, lobby lounge), with an interactive one-page invitation titled Infrastructure where it deepens the interiors.
- Enjoyment is shown in the customer experience (luxury hotel amenities and services on the first floor).
- It returns to the interiors with a still gallery of infrastructure.
- It features the most iconic nearby places, and continues with a clean, mobile gallery with delicious colloquial images and invites visitors to partake in the richness of the surrounding area.
- Introduce the architect and interior designer and invite to visit the page Design.
- Invites to choose the interior design of the apartment. (“Modern”, “Industrial” or “Timeless”)
- Displays the latest blog posts. One of them tells that this website won Runet Gold (“The Poklonnaya 9 website (p9.moscow) won the Runet Rating-2021 All-Russian Contest of Websites and Mobile Applications, in which 1,258 projects competed for the title of the best.“)
- Invitation to choose an apartment.
In addition to this, in other sections of the site you can see apartment plans, prices, interactive financing plans with the different banks in Russia... It is a never-ending entertaining walk.
Conclusion and next entry on three best architecture websites
This website is the winner of several international awards and special mentions awarded by different web design niches. For example, in addition to runet gold, won one for the user experience and interface and another for the quality of interactive animations. It required an impressive investment and it is effective in transmitting a desire to know the hotel, the apartments, its surroundings, the history of Moscow, Russia and to visit the city of Moscow itself.
In the next installment (two out of three) I will present an architecture website that is not so luxurious but, in my opinion, much more welcoming and with a very different function, closer to our daily lives.
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