Schauspielhaus Zürich

A sense of drama. A degree of emotion. A strong visual appeal. Wrapped onto a first class CMS solution. The expectations were high, when Schauspielhaus Zürich picked Spoiled Milk to create their new website. Today, the Swiss theater states that we’ve showed them “the path to the future of the Internet”.

The Challenge

Schauspielhaus Zurich is with more than 150,000 spectators annually one of the most important cultural institutions in Switzerland. The theater has 260 permanent employees and an ensemble of 30 actors. Each season they have 25 new productions plus guest performances that result in a total 600 performances. Artistically, the theater aims for balance and diversity, young and seasoned directors, great classics and new materials. In short, Schauspielhaus Zurich is open to a large theater scenery.

In the spring of 2010, the theater was ready for a complete revamp of their website and started a pitch round. On their specifications list, a number of things stood out: Design should uphold an emotional side, better integration of images, a touch of drama; the functionality should support the users; the back-end should maintain a strong sense of flexibility for content editing and the ability to implement a webshop; social media should play a role.

Spoiled Milk won the pitch round and happily took on the project.

Our Solution

To kick off the project, Spoiled Milk settled the grand information architecture in close collaboration with the client. Subsequently, we brought in the talented designer Stephen England to work on the design screens – naturally a sensitive process when the client happens to be an artistic institution. Also consulting in this phase was the Cornel Windlin Studio.

Having nailed the design, we coded the front-end of the website in CSS/HTML/JS and applied Flash for the background images. Meanwhile, we structured and coded the demanding back-end web interface from scratch applying our in-house developed CMS framework Casein. The reasons why we chose Casein for this project were the complexity of the site and the client’s expectations to the CMS usability. We also implemented our own webshop module to fit the exact requirements laid out by the client.

We are truely thrilled with the result of the new Schauspielhaus Zürich website. And according to the client’s Artistic Management Director Tom Till, so is Schauspielhaus Zürich: “The great digital agency Spoiled Milk has through their concept, design and technical implementation shown us the path to the future of the Internet.”


  • Client: Schauspielhaus Zürich
  • Media: Website
  • Industry: Culture
  • Market: Switzerland
  • Launch year: 2010
  • Collaboration with: Cornel Windlin, Stephen England
  • Technologies: Ruby on Rails
  • CMS: , Casein (Ruby on Rails)
  • Awards: Best of Swiss Web 2011
  • Project contact: Frederik Cordes