Case Study

Architect of the Capitol

Bates Creative worked with the Architect of the Capitol to enhance the visitor experience of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and its grounds. To do so, Bates Creative designed and developed two apps—The U.S. Capitol Grounds app and The U.S. Capitol Rotunda app—for the Architect of the Capitol using Adobe’s digital publishing platform. Both apps support the Capitol Visitor Center to connect with visitors in person or virtually.


  • Digital Discovery and Strategy
  • Mobile App Design and Development


  • Adobe Creativity in the Public Sector

With insights projecting nearly 2.2 million visitors to the U.S. Capitol in 2017, the Architect of the Capitol aimed to publish interactive mobile apps that would serve as the next best thing to touring in person. Visitors near and far are presented with these interpretive tools that are designed to enrich their touring experiences when the Capitol is closed during events, off hours or restoration periods.


The Capitol Grounds has been the stage to hundreds of inaugurations, commemorations, protests, concerts and more. Bates Creative designed and developed an immersive app experience that transports users to one of the nation’s most historic landscapes that is home to approximately 200 memorial trees, architectural features, fountains, gardens and more.

The app is designed with a phone-first approach to mirror how a user would explore the Grounds while using the app as a digital tour guide. To evoke that experience, Bates Creative developed the app with Adobe Experience Manager Mobile using custom Cordova plug-ins. Through the Cordova plug-ins, Bates Creative was able to integrate the app with Google Maps’ geolocation tools to pin users’ exact location in relation to the defined map area and the Ground’s treasures contained within.

With the tap of an icon, the map enlarges a deeper description of each feature with photography, video and audio clips and brief captions to act as a personal tour guide during off-hours.

The U.S. Capitol Grounds app is now available through the iOS App Store and Google Play for all Apple and Android mobile and tablet devices.


While the Capitol has been enlarged to accommodate the growing House and Senate over history, the center of the original Capitol beneath the Dome, the Rotunda, withstands time as it still serves as a ceremonial space and showroom of art and statuary.

Bates Creative worked with Architect of the Capitol to envision an app that would supplement tours while the Rotunda was closed for restorations between 2013-2016 and continue to complement visitors’ experiences once it reopened in 2017. Bates Creative brought the history and features of the Rotunda to life with the mobile app platform, Adobe Experience Manager Mobile, classically referred to as Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.

The app is built in horizontal orientation for tablets and in vertical orientation for smartphones to optimally display the architecture and artwork found within the Rotunda. Through this virtual resource, visitors to the Capitol may explore and learn about the Rotunda’s historic treasures, paintings, statuary, and architecture. Bates Creative brought the mobile experience to life with interactive videos, infographics, photography, 360-degree panorama images and historic illustrations to follow the same tour programming that is delivered in-person.

The U.S. Capitol Rotunda app is free and available for Apple iOS at the App Store and for Android on Google play.