1st Edition

Full Spectrum Colour in Contemporary Architecture

Edited By Elena Manferdini, Jasmine Benyamin Copyright 2023
    144 Pages
    by RIBA Publishing

    Colour is architecture’s sharpest tool in the box. It has indexed everything from the feminine, cosmetic and vulgar to the pure, intrinsic and embodied. Colour has played a central role in the history of architecture. From the polychromy of the ancients to the great white interiors of high modernism. The figurative flourishes of postmodernism to the embedded sublime of contemporary building systems and facades. In contemporary architecture, colour has emerged as something powerful, both a mode of working and a political proposition. The second digital age has brought a fundamental shift in how architects engage colour. Employing the full range of colour puts forth a projective mode of action. It aids the democratisation of visual culture: opening the field to enable subjectivities, bring in new references and embrace new voices. This book explores the function of colour in contemporary architecture and argues it is not to present a vision of an idealised other world, but to prompt new imaginaries. Take in the full spectrum. Features: 100 Architects, Maya Alam, David Batchelor, Galo Canizares, Courtney Coffman, Fala Atelier, Marcelyn Gow, Sauerbruch Hutton, Sam Jacobs, Carolyn Kane, Guto Requena, Paulette Singley, Amanda Williams and Mimi Zeiger.



    Carolyn Kane

    Collective Palettes: On Colour and Identity

    Courtney Coffman

    Digital Colour: A Semi-Technical Reflection

    Galo Canizares

    Clouds of Colour

    Maya Alam


    Marcelyn Gow

    Colour is a Place as Well as a Thing

    Sam Jacob

    When Grass is Not Green: Botanising the Asphalt

    Paulette Singley


    Working with Colour

    Louisa Hutton

    Colour is a Sufficient Material


    Notes on the Velocity of Colours

    David Batchelor

    Colour as Activism

    Guto Requena

    Case studies

    Colouring the Public Realm

    Javier González Rivero

    ‘What Black is This, You Say?’ A conversation between Amanda Williams and Jasmine Benyamin

    Final Word: Uncolour

    Mimi Zeiger


    Elena Manferdini is the principal and owner of Atelier Manferdini in Los Angeles and Graduate Programs Chair at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).

    Jasmine Benyamin is a historian, theorist and critic who serves as guest lecturer at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and was previously Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.