Featured Work:

Villa La Pietra

Villa La Pietra is a beautiful historical villa and art museum in Florence, Italy, and home of the New York University Florence study abroad program. The goal of Villa La Pietra: to share the intellectual, cultural and artistic life of the villa with future generations of students, scholars and the wider international community.

url: lapietra.nyu.edu | completed: November 2015

Project Overview

Project Highlights

Mood boards & Styling

As part of this project, we worked with the Villa La Pietra team to refine their brand and establish a new tone for the website. We created four “mood boards” to help guide Villa La Pietra toward a final design direction. The mood boards ranged in styles from traditional to modern showing various art and color treatments as possible directions. Ultimately, we worked with Villa La Pietra to establish a look that leveraged photography of their property and their cultivated spaces. In addition to establishing the tone for the website, we created a style guide to help them stay consistent with the brand in all future marketing and promotional materials.


Since Villa La Pietra is so multi-faceted, we wanted to offer a solution that allowed them to continue to grow with the website and feature new content with ease. We developed a solution that allows them to easily update and manage content with our components-based architecture. This provided their team with a toolkit of elements for building custom pages on the fly. We built nine stylized components into their WordPress pages. They are now able to easily add and update content in a dynamic manner, which results in heavy-hitting interior pages that provide their users with an engaging experience.

Digital Exhibitions

Villa La Pietra is constantly evolving their programs and events. With our stylized components, they can create unique collections of content specific to each program or event, highlighting a variety of different content types with ease. Stylized content types include: related courses, featured events, an event series, project participants, a snapshot gallery, featured artifacts, videos, a call-to-action button, scholarship work and related projects.

Responsive Images

The redesigned Villa La Pietra website has a wealth of images that visually represent their artifacts, grounds, gardens, buildings and projects. In order to continuously offer a good user experience, we developed a responsive-images solution that cut download time and optimized images appropriately, whether viewing the site on mobile, tablet or desktop. Quick image loading allows the site to function at lightning speed, while still showing the visuals at high resolution.

Information Architecture

In order to balance all of the valuable information that Villa La Pietra needed to feature on their website, we took time to carefully organize content in a way that is easy for users to navigate. There are six main featured categories that all needed equal emphasis: Collection, Garden, Photographic Archive, Projects, Events and The Season. The result is a robust sectioning that allowed showcasing of each category in an easy-to-read and digestible manner. The website itself is built upon an organization of text, sub-content, images and child pages to continue the framework throughout the site.

Events Listing

Through our strategy workshops with Villa La Pietra, we uncovered that site visitors were often coming to the website to view previous events, upcoming events and to read about event details. To satisfy those users, we needed to keep a historical listing of past events while still being able to showcase upcoming events in a simple and engaging manner. The events listing can be organized by date, events within a category or by custom tags created by Villa La Pietra. The events listing is a robust and reusable element of the Villa La Pietra website that can be applied to a variety of use-cases throughout the site.

Final Project

Swipe to view the original “before” site.