Walters & Cohen – written content remains an important component of our website

24 March, 2020

Who is the target audience for your blogs and project pieces? 

We’d like everyone who’s interested in architecture to be able to look at our website and understand what is unique or most interesting about each project and/or the design process. We’d like to think our rigorous approach and design experience is evident to all, including potential clients. 

Have you considered other content formats, such as video?

Yes, we’ve been incorporating films into some of our project pages, either made by our long-term collaborator Dennis Gilbert or by an architect here who has been receiving guidance from photographer and film maker, Jim Stephenson. 

Written content remains an important component of our website. It serves as an anchor on the page, happily sitting alongside sketches, photographs and film. After all, the written word and spoken word can be very different beasts; a project piece written poetically, complementing the elegance and beauty of the building it describes with carefully chosen words, delicacy and cadence, could easily fall flat on its face when voiced.  

Do you have a content plan to ensure that the website stays fresh or does it depend on what’s going on? And who ‘signs off’ written pieces?

There is no grand plan, but new content gets discussed regularly at whole-office meetings and the directors check all new material. 

It is often tricky knowing when to publicise a new project. While some projects are newsworthy as soon as a competition is won (or even before), other projects may be highly sensitive and confidential up to planning. And while waiting is frustrating, designs can change dramatically from one stage to the next. If you write about a project before the design is set in stone (pun not intended!), it can lead to rewriting, back pedalling and unnecessary confusion.

What channels are you using to publish’ blogs?  And which ones work for you – LinkedIn, Twitter?

We link to news stories on Twitter but do not rely on social media to publish material.

How much time does the writing take and is it just you?

It is just me, which ensures consistency, but I would love to encourage our architects to write blog posts in the future. In theory it doesn’t take too long, and can be based on something I’ve written for a competition or lecture, which is both useful foundation and motivation. However, this is teamwork, and adding content might be delayed because there hasn’t been a good opportunity to discuss something with the project architect, or get sign-off from the directors. 

I try to see our buildings after completion, if not before. Seeing and experiencing a building for yourself, rather than relying on photos and opinion, is incredibly powerful in constructing your own perspective, and it shines through. 

Archiboo was talking to Lucy Keens of Walters & Cohen. The practice won the Best Written Content category in the 2019 Archiboo Awards.