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Colours In Architecture

Saturday, September 29, 2018

By Sachin Goregaoker, Director, GA design

Colour is an important element of the environment which is very strongly linked to the human life-pattern. It is a sensory perception and resonates with people in different ways, thereby affecting the psychology of people experiencing it. Colour being a vital feature in the world of design, has the power to transform the look of any object or structure into a particularly spectacular visual.

Building forms are generally determined by their functions and materials if they wish to achieve intrinsic significance. And the colour of a building has to be established after considering certain aspects – its size and form, its function, the location, climatic conditions, cultural relevance and immediate surroundings. Back in the day when colour wasn’t discovered, monuments and structures were made of natural stone and natural material which was available in that particular region and suited to the climate of that region. We therefore saw structures which had neutral muted colours like beige, sand, brick, grey, wood, white etc. With advancement in technology and discovery of colour, we started to experiment with different colours and colour schemes. Bolder colours were usually preferred for institutional structures in order to induce vitality and active thinking. Residential buildings and complexes had softer colour palettes to keep it simple and inviting, while neutrals were largely used for commercial buildings.

However, with building façade design having undergone dramatic metamorphosis over the last decade, the treatment of the building with colours and textures has also transformed profoundly. Exterior colours are not just defined by the use of paint – there are a lot of components that go into creating interesting visuals for buildings. Façade treatment consists of textures, dry and wet cladding, green wall, glass wall, wood wall and metal screens. Each of these individually has innumerable options in terms of materials, textures and colours. Dry cladding for example can be done with ACP, granite or Fundermax – all of these are available in a colour and look that you desire.
Additionally, lighting is also being used to enhance the feature of a building and to make it look visually attractive. The clever installation and selection of colour of LED lights helps to highlight significant elements of façade design and has become an effective tool for dramatic night-lighting. The choices available in colour, materials, textures and lighting design for buildings are over-whelming.

New technological developments continue to influence an architect’s design, particularly in the field of façade treatment, resulting in a stylistic eclecticism in the contemporary scene. And colour, not being just a decorative element, aims at supporting spatial designs and helps to redefine the underlying conventions of modern architecture.

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