A typical architect's portfolio only looks back on finished work. HCMA's forward-thinking path demanded a website that looks beyond the building, towards new ways of living.

Where We Started

In the midst of moving to a new studio and updated brand, HCMA sought a remade website to reflect their ambition to go beyond being a traditional architecture firm. Industrial Brand, who had just finished a deep identity update with HCMA, partnered with us to tackle the online aspects of the firm’s evolution.

Managing partner Darryl Condon put it to us in compelling terms: the challenges that the world faces in the next twenty years are huge, complex, and will affect how we all live. Architects can help solve those problems, but their methods and thinking need to change. HCMA wants to be part of that change.

We could see that a new HCMA website couldn’t just talk about that change. It would need to be an example and a participant in figuring out what the architecture firm of the future can be.

What We Did

Building on studio visits, surveying, and interviews, we filled out our understanding of HCMA’s way of working and shared ethos. We developed several concepts that focussed on permeating the walls that traditionally separate a profession from people: ideas should be invited inward, and moments of inspiration should be able to escape for others to see.

Several prototypes for the more unique concepts were built and tested, while we coordinated the jobs of content gathering and engineering the site’s widely-varying page layouts and detailed functionality. While it has the feel of a fully custom product, the site is built on WordPress to ensure ease of use by staff, and maintainability over the long term.

The Results

Experimental, boundary-breaking, and beautiful. The fully responsive website is rich with interactive features that embody HCMA’s skill, spirit, and mission. In some ways, the website has caught up to what was already happening there. In others, it opens new pathways to continue asking What’s Possible.

Visit HCMA.ca

Services Used


Project Snapshots

Studio visit snapshots

We found hints of how HCMA works throughout their studio, but one moment influenced a lot of our approach: when snapping the paper-laden desk we saw layers and evolution of a project. The offhand comment that 'the mess tells a story' turned into a pivotal conversation about how to show HCMA's work to the world.

HCMA Homepage

Where 99.9% of homepages look to tell you something, HCMA's presents a set of images with provacative questions, beginning a dialogue with visitors around any place, event, or thing of interest. It speaks to HCMA's consultative process and invites anyone to take part.

Flip Carousel

For HCMA's case studies we created the flip-carousel, a way of showing location that speaks to three interrelated scales of place: global, regional, and local.

Snapshot Slider

The snapshot slider embraces the sometimes messy nature of the creative process by giving a home to artifacts that shape the final work, but are often never seen.

We can do this for you

What makes your organization special may not be the easiest thing to show on a website. If it’s time to make a new kind of impression that speaks with your voice, then you’re in the right place.

Say hello@denimandsteel.com