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Somerset House

Somerset House

An online presence to portray the cutting-edge cultural offering of Somerset House

The Client

Somerset House offers a diverse and dynamic programme of contemporary arts and culture. A space where art and culture are imagined, made and experienced by 3 million visitors every year. It is also home to a large community of creative businesses, artists and makers. Including Somerset House Studios.


The Challenge

As a venue Somerset House offers a space for contemporary arts and culture. A modern arts centre designed for today's audiences and creatives. This cutting-edge cultural offering was not matched by their online presence.

Somerset House wanted to transform their digital channels to mirror their artistic programme. To ensure their online presence was a true representation of their contemporary brand.

The aim was to do this through an update of the design and technology of their digital channels.

Somerset House's website on Iphone

The Solution

Our aim was to showcase Somerset House as a unique and dynamic destination. With distinctive heritage, cultural breadth and creative enterprise.

As Somerset House is a well-loved space with many visitors, their insight was crucial. In-depth research allowed us to understand the needs and motivations of both the current and potential audiences. This led our team to create a design focused on dynamic and moving imagery. Visually engaging visitors whilst reflecting the energy of the unique physical space.

As the site attracts 2.5 million visitors every year the technology used needed to be robust. Yet flexible enough to reflect the areas of art and culture that Somerset House displays. Search needed to be at the heart of the development. With the search requirements covering site-wide, events and residents. Back-end ease of use was also key as many departments (IT, marketing and press teams) maintain the site.

The solution was to build an open source Drupal CMS to manage the content. We paired this with an Apache Solr search setup to give visitors a powerful search function. Integrating with Somerset House's current CRM solution.

Our team added editorial tools to provide automation and dynamic content surfacing. Helping to present related content from across the site to visitors. The aim of this was to reduce overheads for manual maintenance and to future proof the site.

Launched in November 2016, the new site exceeded the expectations of the client.

Client Response

“It's a huge change from where we were and is getting a fantastic response from staff, residents, trustees and visitors. We feel that you have really captured the essence and energy of Somerset House."

Somerset House Team

The Website

Somerset house

home page

home page


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