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van Heyningen & Haward Architects (vHH)

With those organisations who have an accent on design, a CMS is needed which provides versatility and adaptability.


van Heyningen & Haward Architects (vHH)


Web design and development, bespoke content management system, enterprise hosting and ongoing day-to-day support.


Ruby on Rails, CDN (content delivery network), Core CMS


Peter & Paul

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The client

van Heyningen & Haward Architects are a highly respected practice based in North London with nearly four decades worth of experience in the field. During this time they have worked on a wide range of outstanding projects, imprinting their key design values and principles on all of them.

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The brief

As an established practice with a weight of tradition and respect behind them, it was felt there was scope to refresh vHH’s digital presence without moving away from their ideals. This would promote the idea of evolution as opposed to revolution.

We at Core would provide the technical framework and content structure for the site, working in partnership with creative agency Peter & Paul, who provided brand identity, design and positioning.

The response

Inline with our own Core values, in considering what content management system (CMS) a site should feature, the clients needs are central. It has led us to our philosophy of bespoke as the key principle, ensuring the technology is shaped around the brief and not the other way around.

In terms of vHH’s own needs, there needed to be a balance between the obviously visual nature of their sector, while also presenting the content to tell their story in a compelling way. From the very outset we understood that this required a bespoke mindset which allowed for variations in page layout and content structure, moving away from a heavily templated approach.

As the site developed it was clear from both a visual and content perspective that the structuring of project storytelling was going to be fundamental to how the site functioned.

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This approach aligned with the desire to put people before buildings on the site and developing a way of selling the people behind the practice, rather than selling just the work itself. Influenced by this, the site features an extensive section dedicated to telling the story of vHH, the people behind it and their design ethos.

From a content perspective, the Work and News pages carry a tile effect which allows the imagery and accompanying text to flow in an immediately visual and navigable way, also allowing for less formulaic content delivery. In addition to this it was important for the site to nimbly accommodate various multimedia content such as video which adds a further layer to the aesthetics of the site.

Navigation is clearly defined and slick which leads to easier browsing of the site. Also, drawing on vHH’s rich history of project work, an infinite scroll was implemented on the Work page of the site, purposefully highlighting the breadth of experience the practice holds. A tagging system allows the user to filter projects into groups by area of interest, project budgets and delivery dates.

Credit: Will Pryce

We wanted people to appreciate how vHH works and explore what we do easily on all devices. Core developed our site and content management system, showcasing 30+ years of work perfectly – it’s attractive, intuitive to navigate and easy to update.

James McCosh

Partner, van Heyningen & Haward

Let's talk

We would love to learn about your project

Call us on:
+44 (0)29 2070 4700

10 Mount Stuart Square,
Cardiff Bay
CF10 5EE

Email us at:

Let's get digital
working for you.


10 Mount Stuart Square,
Cardiff Bay
CF10 5EE
+44 (0)29 2070 4700


We're always pleased to hear from people who are interested in joining our team. We never use recruiters so no agencies please.