ArchiNed revamped!

At last, after a lengthy period of preparation: ArchiNed has been totally revamped and improved. It boasts a new, open and transparent graphic design, new features and new applications. But it’s still high-quality content, lively, critical and up-to-the-minute. NB: things may not work perfectly right from the start but they soon will.

A new spring, a new site. It may come as a shock to regular readers that the ‘old-school’ black homepage – the hallmark of ArchiNed for over twelve years – has been abandoned to make way for an open and transparent design. A pity maybe, but the time was right for renewal. Much of this renewal, and especially the work that went into it, takes and took place in the background. The content management system of ArchiNed, the software that generates the ArchiNed pages and that is based on the open source CMS system TYPO3, has been totally renewed. So at last we can now do things we always wanted to do but weren’t possible with the old system. On top of that, we can do more with all the information published on the site over the years. And that was a second crucial consideration. It was essential to include all that old content in the new design and make it accessible in the new CMS. Consequently, more than 12 years of architecture news and discussion remains available. This treasure trove comprising thousands of articles offers insight into recent architectural history and discussions that surprises even us sometimes. (Read the full ArchiNed History under the Info button.)

Since last October visitors have enjoyed a preview of the new design when the old Architects List and Sites sections merged to become ArchiNed Index, the most comprehensive database of architects and architecture-related institutions and companies in the Netherlands, complemented with a projects database.
We’re very pleased with the new design (by Studio Rogerio Lira), the new CMS (by Drecomm) and the renewed logo (by good old Fred Inklaar, designer of the first ArchiNed website and still the creator of our logo and stationary). Furthermore, the logo has been animated by Michael van Schaik, so there’s something for your mouse to toy with while you’re reading. (For more, see colophon under Info).

To provide better access to the huge archive of thousands of news articles, books, reviews and opinion pieces, the main pages in the News, Opinion, Media, Competitions and Events sections have been improved and the margins now feature related articles and links. What’s more, the search engine has been vastly improved. Now you can search using several search terms at once and also by author. At last you can find what all those hundreds of correspondents have written over the years. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what awaits discovery.

Despite all the revamping, much remains as it was. What we wont change is that mixture of information and opinion, of news, society, events, competitions, jobs, links to offices and institutions. The reports, now the only parts of ArchiNed still made in old-fashioned flat HTML code, have been thoroughly smartened up. But it was too much to convert all the old reports into the new CMS, but they are still available.

In addition, over the coming months we will experiment with new formats for news, take up video again, after we first tried our luck with it back in 2001 with ArchiTV (in postage stamp format), and try to make the front page more dynamic. The main articles and opinion pieces will be as topical as ever, shamelessly critical when necessary. We’ll still steer well clear of all that cutting and pasting of news and press releases that clogs up the Internet nowadays. In that sense, we want to stay true to our old values. But in the Short News section there’ll be more space for newsflashes that don’t require a substantial amount of text yet are still of topical interest.

We hope you’ll be patient over the coming weeks. The odd bug will surface here and there (if you see one, contact office(at)archined.nl; congratulations and notes of encouragement are welcome too), not everything works perfectly yet, the server will probably be a little slow at first, and we haven’t yet got totally accustomed to working with the new system. We hope that the 5000-6000 unique visitors who consult ArchiNed every day, and the roughly 150 correspondents who fill the ArchiNed pages to a large extent, will get plenty of pleasure out of the new-look ArchiNed. We’re happy that the process of renewal has finally been completed and we’re looking forward to exploring lots of new possibilities.