With more than 250 buildings and planning projects completed in more than 100 cities around the world, New York City–based architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners boasts an extensive portfolio of elegant, modernist architecture in sectors from cultural to educational to healthcare to office spaces. For a portfolio site that expressed an equal sense of contemporary style, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners turned to Abbott Miller’s team at Pentagram and Brooklyn-based design and development firm Type/Code. After many design prototypes, Type/Code landed on a horizontal navigation system with special navigational elements that mitigate the problems of interacting with a horizontal site.
“One major technical challenge with the site was the strict adherence to horizontal design in a medium that’s strongly vertically oriented—the web,” explains Ian Lord, partner and creative director at Type/Code. “In order to make navigation intuitive and nonannoying—as is often the case with horizontal websites—for both tech novices and power users alike, we addressed many modes of interaction.” Visitors can scroll through the site vertically by using their mouse wheel; Type/Code implemented a multiplier to translate every pixel scrolled “down” into two pixels scrolled “across.” Visitors can also scroll horizontally, use drag-to-pan on touch and non-touch devices, navigate with arrow buttons on the site, keyboard arrow keys, and scrollbar dragging.