Colour for Architecture Today  book cover
2nd Edition

Colour for Architecture Today

ISBN 9780415438155
Published December 16, 2008 by Taylor & Francis
192 Pages

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Book Description

What role does colour play in our built environment? How are our attitudes to colour changing? What potential do new technologies bring for the use of colour and light in architecture?

Combining real examples from practice with colour theory, this book will help you to fully understand the role and impact of colour in our urban spaces. Contributions from leading architects Will Alsop, Legorreta and Legorreta, John Outram, Sauerbruch Hutton and Neuterlings Riedijk accompany those from artists Alain Bony and Yann Kersalé, and from colour researchers such as Kristina Enberg and Anders Hård, who developed the Natural Colour System. Topics include:

  • how and why we see colour
  • methodologies in the documentation of traditional colours
  • the development of new urban palettes
  • recent colour psychology research
  • the effect of light levels on human behaviour
  • dramatic colour effects achievable with light
  • guidelines for future deployment of colour in the built environment.

This is a sequel to the immensely influential Colour for Architecture, published in 1976. Much has changed in 30 years; new cutting edge technologies and materials have emerged allowing architects to experiment with colour and light in an energy efficient and sustainable way, paving the way for a more colourful and exciting built environment.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: Why and How We See Colour  1. The Colour Currency of Nature  2. Seeing Colours  3. The Dynamics of Colour  Part 2: Colour Mapping: Colour at the City Scale  4. Light, Locale and the Color of Cities  5. Italian City Colour Plans (1978–2007)  6. Unity in Diversity at Kirchsteigfeld, Potsdam  7. The Geography of Colour  8. Digital Colour Mapping  Part 3: The NCS (Natural Color System) and Research Applications  9. NCS – the Natural Color System for the Denotation of Colour  10. Perceived and Inherent Colour: Comparing the Colour of External Façades with Colour Samples  11. Seven Kinds of Colour  12. Daylight Influence on Indoor Colour Design  13. The Longyearbyen Project: Approach and Method  Part 4: Architects and Colour at the Building Scale  14. Color Structure: A Perceptual Techtonic  15. The Globalization of Colour  16. Evoking a Response  17. On Colour and Space  18. Iconic Engineering: Reflections on the Subject of Colour in Architecture, Ornament and City Planning  19. Code, Space and Light  20. The Illusive Façade  21. Colour  22. The Colour of Money (It Doesn’t Matter)  Part 5: Colour Psychology and Colour Aesthetics  23. Colour Preference: The Longitudinal Perspective  24. Preferences for Colours on Buildings  25. Colour, Arousal, Hue-Heat and Time Estimation  26. Colour Synaesthesia: Seeing Sound and Hearing Colour  27. Light, Mood and Seasonal Disorders  Part 6: Into the Light  28. Being in Colour  29. Architectural Light and Colour as a Source of Inspiration: An Approach to the Use of Colour  30. New 42nd Street, New York  31. The Fisherman of Light


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Tom Porter is an author, lecturer and colour consultant. He is Visiting Professor at Montana State University and Visiting Fellow at Oxford Brookes University

Byron Mikellides is Professor at the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University