Wilson Fletcher

Garden Bridge

An inspiring home for London’s new landmark

The Garden Bridge, due to open in 2018, is a new public garden that will reach across the River Thames. This new bridge will be a completely new type of landmark for London, and the first bridge of its kind around the world. We were tasked with creating a website that would get the nation excited about this ambitious new project.

Studio
  • London
Duration
10 weeks

How do you excite the public about a new landmark before it exists?

The Garden Bridge is a new public garden that will reach across the River Thames. This new bridge will be a completely new type of landmark for London, and the first bridge of its kind around the world. The Garden Bridge Trust asked us to create a website that would get the nation excited about this ambitious new project.

The website was to play a huge part in the creation of the bridge, both acting as a showcase and as a functional donation platform to raise the funds necessary to finance the project. The site would have to balance the inspirational aspects of getting people excited about life with the new garden and the equally important informative function of giving easy ways for people to get involved.

An enterprising story

While the Garden Bridge itself wasn’t yet real, the vision for how it would feel and the impact it would have on the city was very real. A great sense of excitement came across whenever we spoke to anybody who was involved with the project. That was the essence that we had to capture in the story we told with the website.

We developed concepts to wrap the vision behind the project into two possible approaches. The team chose to go forward with the ‘bridge builders’ concept, which would invoke the entrepreneurial nature of the project. We wanted people to get excited about being part of the project, to making donation and sponsorship feel enterprising.

Creating a public-facing brand

Previously, The Trust had been talking mainly to business contacts about backing the project, so we wanted to strip away the corporate tone and create a digital brand to engage the public. We created an inclusive tone of voice to make visitors to the website feel close to the project. We also introduced a visual look and feel that would steer all future branding of the bridge, from logo design to building awnings.

Crafting the details

For a project that had great design at its centre, it was especially important that we crafted the details of the site. We used parallax scrolling to create a memorable experience and took extra care to craft all icons and imagery, so that the spirit of beautiful design was present in this site from top to bottom.

Like stepping onto the bridge

The bridge would have an impact on two scales: firstly, the impressive scale of the bridge itself, and secondly the intimate spaces created by the garden. We wanted the site to showcase both the large and personal scale.

We used video to create real impact on arrival at the website, showing the bridge as a landmark. We then used immersive albums to create a sense of being on the bridge, leveraging sketches from the designers to get people as close to the project as possible.

Designed for performance

Every aspect of the website adapts seamlessly to deliver a progressively enhanced experience, the best that each browser can support on any mobile or desktop device. We crafted the platform to ensure that animations and videos which we designed for enrichment complemented the general experience of the site without sacrificing performance.

We engineered all of the adaptive templates and worked closely with IBM, the Garden Bridge Trust’s technology partners, to implement the new platform. We also ensured that this platform would provide a strong foundation for future incarnations of the website as its function changes from fundraising to a community base once the bridge is built.