Bridging Past and Present with Mansion House’s Branding and Website
Any Westward-facing photograph of the Gateway Arch is likely to include a glimpse of Mansion House, a 1960s-era steel-and-glass residential tower among St. Louis’s first examples of International Style architecture. Mansion House was designed and built at the same time as its iconic neighbor, then known as the “Saarinen Arch.”
As the Arch grounds underwent extensive renovations in late 2016, the Mansion House management team saw an exciting opportunity to evolve the building’s identity.
The downtown St. Louis real estate market is becoming more competitive as new and existing properties compete fiercely on amenities, finishes and proximity to dining and attractions. Mansion House asked Atomicdust to help them develop and roll out a competitive, modern brand that would resonate with existing and prospective tenants – particularly tenants who are new to the area.
To kick off our Branding Program, we took an extensive tour of the Mansion House tower and grounds. While Mansion House’s management team shared stories about the history of the building, we met residents, explored apartments and took in incredible views from the rooftop pool and deck.
The Mansion House team also provided us with a wealth of original photographs, brochures and advertisements from the building’s 1966 opening. We pored over concept illustrations, apartments beautifully staged with mid-century furniture, and copy – practically poetic – that celebrated the reimagined Riverfront.
In our research, we discovered that while Mansion House’s proximity to the Arch is still its strongest suit, most downtown St. Louis properties tout the very same thing. We chose to add depth to the story by playing up the ways in which Mansion House’s history – and future – are tied to the Arch.
Our positioning language was built on this concept.
Mansion House Apartments offer a modern downtown living experience with a historic spin.
With the best Arch and river views in the city, our apartments give residents a window into St. Louis’s amazing past and a key to its future.
Early concepts for the Mansion House identity explored different symbols, wordmarks and icons. We played with patterns. We played with layering. And since the existing logo for Mansion House used building iconography, we played with modernized versions of that concept.
But a brand isn’t just a logo. As we explored other elements – colors, textures, photography, illustrations – we knew that the logo had to be strong enough to stand alone, but simple enough to contribute to a cohesive visual story.
Our refreshed visual identity for Mansion House blends a timeless aesthetic with a color palette inspired by 1966. Taking inspiration from the original brochures, we created friendly new illustrations and sketches that highlight Mansion House’s architecture, community and prime location. The final, minimal logo adds elegance to the identity.
The new Mansion House website allows visitors to quickly find an available apartment while exploring and appreciating the building’s rich history. On the homepage, language and photography work together to introduce the key differentiator: a beautiful blend of the past, present and future just steps from the Arch. Subtle horizontal red lines throughout the site add visual interest while stylistically representing the unmistakable Mansion House balconies.
Visitors can browse a simple list of apartment styles by style, size and price. Clear calls to action enable people to act quickly once they’ve decided to take a tour or apply for residency.
We also chose to highlight the community through photography and events, emphasizing that living at Mansion House is about more than an apartment. Imagery and copy highlights the people, the activities, and the incredible spaces, including the pool, fitness center and dog park.
The new brand and site debuted in May, and we look forward to hearing more about its impact from the Mansion House team. Explore it for yourself now.