Recent studies have found that our reaction to an architectural environment is largely based on our sensory perception of colour. In fact, the use of colour can completely transform a building and even entire cities.
Consider Chefchaouen in Morocco, for example, with its rows of walls painted in shades of blue. Said to symbolise the sky and remind residents to lead a spiritual life, the azure city blends colour and architecture to affect a person’s experience of a space.
With so much influence, a building’s palette should not be regarded as a finishing touch; architects consider colour choice as an important composition element.
Luckily, a kaleidoscope of colour is now achievable in construction. Thanks to advances in technology such as powder coating, buildings around the world are appearing in a rainbow of striking hues.
With the help of Elval Colour, leader in coated-aluminium manufacturing, Design Build Network takes a look at two of the key colour trends to emerge this year.
Believed to represent strength and reliability, earth tones are a combination of umbre, ochre and sienna shades. Influenced by natural pigments and materials such as soil and clay, these warm tones evoke a sense of nature.
This organic palette seemed the perfect choice for Spain’s Torre Sevilla Shopping Centre. Designed by the prestigious Argentine architect César Pelli, the urban space occupies a natural environment. Pelli sought to combine the traditional elements of the nearby Sevillian streets with the sense of modernity from the city, whilst creating a centre in keeping with its green surroundings.
Elval Colour worked alongside the architect to provide the centre’s soothing facade. The company dressed the mall with etalbond aluminium composite panels (ACP) in shades of brown, orange and yellow, creating an exterior that blends seamlessly with its environment.
Shades of grey
Colour choice might be dictated by corporate ID, its resemblance to an alternative natural material such as stone or wood that for some reason can’t be used, cultural references, the colours that surround the project, and the desire to either blend in or to stand out.
For Sweden’s Water Towers project, it was the latter. One of the highest structures in the town of Haninge, the water towers were due for renovation as part of a revamp of the area. The local authority wanted to create a landmark that could be seen from across the archipelago and ultimately chose a bid from HMXW architects to wrap the towers in grey reflective panels.
Covered exclusively with etalbond ACP by Elval Colour, the architects chose stylish brushed smoke and silver shades. The panels were formed into triangles with a mirror feature used intermittently to produce varying results depending on how the light and surrounding colours are reflected upon them.
The effect is a dramatic but functional focal point that has been embraced by the local community.