The Use of Colour in Architecture

July 24, 2017 3:31 pm Published by

There are many stages involved in an architectural design process and colour choice is becoming an increasingly more important aspect. It is no longer just an afterthought or finishing touch. Colour is a sensory perception that has the ability to make a person feel or think a certain way, depending on the ways in which our brains process them. This means that the purpose of colour design in architecture is not solely to decorate, but also to alter the ambience in a building.

Colour can be used for a variety of reasons; it can create a sense of harmony and unity, emphasise the building’s character or enliven the atmosphere. How we truly experience colour, however, relies on additional factors than just the colour itself, such as the other surrounding colours, the lighting and the level of saturation.

Due to cultural distinctions, it is difficult to determine what each colour symbolises because they tend have different meanings around the world. In China, for example, white is the colour of grief whereas most people across Europe wear black when in mourning. White is the colour of purity in Europe and is normally worn by a bride on her wedding day.

One conclusion we can understand about colour and its association with architecture is that it plays a pivotal role in the perception space. Light colours, for example, can trick the mind into thinking a space is larger than it actually is. That is why many homeowners are encouraged to paint their smaller rooms white, such as a loft conversion. Alternatively, dark, warmer colours are used to make a room feel small and cosy.

In recent decades, architects are spoilt for choice when it comes to their colour palette, thanks to several advancements in materials. For example, technologies like powder coating and extrusion have significantly brightened up the market. So, next time you spot a colourful piece of architecture, see if you can come up with a logical reason as to why the particular colours were chosen in the first place.

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This post was written by Dennis Adam

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