Villa Lala ought not to be a place just for musicians, but for all kinds of artists. The space features several built-in music studios for professionals, as well as ‘creative’ rooms, designed specifically to bring people together. Its founders understand that creatives need a certain kind of space to create their best work, and they set out to create that by paying homage to Viennese architecture and culture. To do so, they sought to enhance the Villa’s mid-century interior, while still retaining the playfulness and fun that they know is necessary for creative souls and artistic invention. While Villa Lala is designed to be accessible and communal, it’s also intended as a space for people who want to weave lyrics into a song, record their album or unblock their creativity. As such, they didn’t want Villa Lala to be too easily found – it should only be discovered by souls who would truly appreciate and utilise the spaces as they were intended.
It was important that their web design reflected this combination of playfulness, utility and mystery, while still retaining the important traditional, commercial aspects. I collaborated with the talented David Einwaller, Creative Director, to achieve this balance. He already came up with some website sketches and a brilliant corporate design idea, for which he did a custom font presenting the viennesse origin and an illustrational world to play with.
To begin the project, we worked with Villa Lala’s three owners, Filous, his brother Elias, and their friend Julian le Play, to create a standard website structure that visitors could navigate easily. All the necessary information was included so that the website immediately fulfilled the ‘utility’ element. From there, we began pondering the best ways to add mystery and fun. It was challenging to balance these elements, but because Villa Lala’s owners love to play and experiment, it meant we too could have fun with the design. In the end, inspiration came from the idea that Villa Lala shouldn’t be too easily found, and so we turned the website into a sort of treasure map.
Upon first entering the site, visitors will only see symbols. If they hover over the page though, images and text is revealed one-by-one, as if it’s divulging a secret. This theme of revealing images in pieces, using digital animation, continues through the site, while still ensuring that important information is easily accessible.
In this way, conservative visitors to the site might not take the time to click through each section. Instead, Villa Lala’s ideal audience would enjoy playing and exploring this unexpected treasure map. The unique design should make a lasting impression, and leave creative souls wanting to visit this interesting space.