Friday, 20 April 2012

CIJ Residential Award win for the Palazzo Dorottya website

In a glittering ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw, Poland on 17 April, we were crowned winners of the Construction and Investment Journal (CIJ) Residential Awards 2012 Best Residential Development Website award for the innovative and stylish website we created for Palazzo Dorottya, a restored historic building in Budapest.

The Construction and Investment Journal (CIJ) Residential Awards 2012 celebrated projects as well as companies that have excelled in performance.  Projects submitted for The Best Residential Website are judged upon various criteria, including graphic design, innovation, commercial success, beauty, layout, integration and user friendliness.

The project

In May of 2011 Richardsons Capital LLP and Fingen, the joint developers and property owners of Palazzo Dorottya - a grand, historic 19th century building in the heart of Budapest – approached us to create a brand, website and marketing collateral for this six storey mixed use development, consisting of 87 luxury apartments with commercial and retail space.

Before work could start on the website we needed to create a brand for the development. We wanted to communicate that Palazzo Dorottya is a sophisticated destination for living, working and entertaining, whilst also reflecting the building’s juxtaposed classic and modern characteristics. So, we created the strapline ‘where the past meets the present’ and logo, giving it a typographic treatment through the use of two fonts to reinforce the old and new – a theme which was also reflected in the marketing materials as a whole.

The website

The innovative website we created includes a homepage that features full screen images, a distinctive image gallery, along with a custom designed interactive map of the area that had links to luxury products and services. Individual floorplans are available as both zoomable images and downloadable PDFs. The site has also been optimised to work well on tablets such as the iPad and is easy for the sales team in Budapest to update.

Ben Jackson, Head of Digital Media at to the point said,

"The site has been purposefully designed to be as ‘flat’ as possible – meaning that most users will feel comfortable enough to view all of the main sections. Content has been pared down to a minimum so users get all the information they need. All additional information is then accessed via lightbox overlays – meaning navigation is kept very simple. User testing was carried out to ensure users were never swamped with too much information and felt that they had simple access to everything they needed to encourage them to get in contact and find out more about the building/apartments available. 

We built the site using a customized version of the Wordpress open source CMS (.PHP) – with CSS hand coded to be clean and simple. The site is very easy to maintain, with quick and simple content entry for all pages, including location information, and apartment availability".

We created several plugins and features specifically for the site.
  • Location section - based on a customised version of Google Maps, this has been created as a stand alone local search system designed to promote local landmarks, retail, hotel, entertainment (etc.) facilities. All data was researched and written specifically for this site.
  • Image gallery – as images were very important to the brand, we created a gallery system (based on SlideShowPro) to show the images in the best way possible using Flash where available and a separate non-Flash version for mobile/tablet users.
  • Custom apartment search facility. Used in both the Sales and Rentals sections, this was created from scratch for the site in order to present a very simple, intuitive way to search for apartments by multiple search categories. Due to the deliberately simple site structure, this is all presented on a single page, with high-resolution, zoomable floorplans opening into a lightbox overlay for each selected apartment (these are also available to download as a PDF).
  • Site has been designed to work well on its own and also as the online component of the iPad sales tool.

To complement the website, we developed an iPad tool to help facilitate sales. This needed to be developed quickly with no constant bug-testing or waiting on App Store approval. It also needed to be relatively simple to keep up-to-date and easy to use. As iPad Apps can be expensive and time consuming to create, we came up with a cost effective tool (essentially a supercharged interactive PDF). This enables the sales force to show potential clients all the relevant property information if there is no Wi-Fi connection, and allows them to access the website to show real time availability and pricing when an internet connection is available.

The website and iPad tool were also supported by a suite of printed marketing materials. These included a luxury wallet and brochure with floorplan inserts for each of the 87 apartments. We specified a high quality digital print solution for these inserts, which enabled the client to call off shorter runs, printing floorplans only when needed to tailor presentations for specific client needs, as well as reducing the environmental impact associated with printing.

About the Awards

The Awards are organised by Roberts Publishing Media Group, which has been publishing CIJ Magazine for over 19 years in Central and Eastern Europe.  This year’s CIJ Residential Awards were held on 17 April 2012 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Warsaw, Poland and honour projects completed between 1 January 2010 and 31 March 2012.


Joanna said...

Congratulations! Great use of type to show the history - especially with two such difficult words.

Anonymous said...

Well done and congratulations guys - looks great!


SHYAM said...
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Ben Jackson said...

Hi Shyam, thanks for your interest and your comment, you can sign up for our monthly email here:

Rajnagar Extention said...
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