Colour use in building design

Colour is a powerful form of communication, we are either attracted to colour and repelled by it, so even if the coolest architectural design were presented to us, if we didn’t like the colour, we wouldn’t like it at all.

Colour in design is very subjective. What evokes one reaction in one person may evoke a very different reaction in someone else. Sometimes this is due to personal preference, and other times can be due to cultural background.

Using Warm Colours

Warm colours include red, orange, and yellow, and variations of those three colours. These are the colours of fire, autumn, and of sunsets and sunrises, and are generally energizing, passionate, and positive.

Red and yellow are both primary colours, with orange falling in the middle, which means warm colours are all truly warm and aren’t created by combining a warm colour with a cool colour. Warm colours are used in designs to reflect passion, happiness, enthusiasm, and energy.

Using Cool Colours

Cool colours include green, blue, and purple and are often more subdued than warm colours. They are the colours of night, of water, of nature, and are usually calming, relaxing, and somewhat reserved.

Blue is the only primary colour within the cool spectrum, which means the other colours are created by combining blue with a warm colour. Greens take on some of the attributes of yellow, and purple takes on some of the attributes of red. Cool colours are used in designs to give a sense of calmness or professionalism.

Using Neutral Colours

Neutral colours often serve as the backdrop in design. They’re commonly combined with brighter accent colours. But they can also be used on their own in designs, and can create very sophisticated layouts. The meanings and impressions of neutral colours are much more affected by the colours that surround them than are warm and cool colours.

Whatever the colour, architecture is becoming brighter and bolder and soon city landscapes will no longer be grey and brown but will have many different colours and accent lighting.