New Work: Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Robert A.M. Stern may be known as a pioneering postmodernist, but the term doesn’t begin to cover the stylistic versatility and wide-ranging output of his architectural practice. Among different audiences, Robert A.M. Stern Architects is known equally for everything from the design of houses and apartment buildings, to the design of office towers, academic buildings, and whole towns. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has designed a new website for RAMSA that captures the firm’s expansive portfolio.
Bierut has a longstanding relationship with Stern, having designed a series of five monographs on the architect’s work, beginning with Robert A.M. Stern Buildings in 1996, followed by Houses (1997), Houses and Gardens (2005), Buildings and Towns (2007), and On Campus (2010). The distinctive design of the books reflects Stern’s own architectural approach—the contemporary interpretation of classical forms in a confident, even monumental form. Bierut has also designed two books of architectural writing by Stern, The Philip Johnson Tapes and Architecture on the Edge of Postmodernism.
At the same time, Bierut and his team have collaborated with Stern and his partners on a variety of architectural projects over the years, including the planned community of Celebration, Florida; Manhattan music space the Kaufman Center; Wave Hill, the public garden in the Bronx; and Fifteen Central Park West, the luxury residential development that has been called the most successful apartment building in the world. Bierut is also graphic design consultant to the Yale School of Architecture, where he has produced a series of over 75 posters for the school since Stern became Dean in 1998.
Rolling over images on the homepage highlights emblematic projects from the various categories of work.
The biggest challenge in designing the RAMSA site was representing the versatility of Stern’s practice. “We decided the best way to signal this diversity was to make the site’s navigation the centerpiece of the homepage,” says Bierut.
Using a layout that very consciously evokes the covers of the monographs Bierut has designed for the firm—including the font, Requiem—the breadth of the firm’s work is signaled in a single view. Clicking on any one project type immediately takes visitors to that practice area while opening a full-frame view of an emblematic project. Visitors can view case studies of projects within each category, including slide shows of images. The site also includes a map of projects around the world and profiles of the firm’s principals.
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Yve Ludwig, designer. Developer: Rubenstein Technology Group.