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Colour and Texture

DETAIL 4/2019

At times, architecture stands out because of its colours. In Marseille, the new high-rise by Jean Nouvel, La Marseillaise, for example, is a shimmering French tricolour. The office tower boasts a facade of reinforced concrete elements, hand-painted in shades of blue, white and red. The skyscraper stands 135 m high, a proud beacon that can be seen by ships entering the port city. The new House of Music in Innsbruck, enveloped in dark ceramic lamellas, sets a counterpoint to the pale plaster facades of the neighbouring historic buildings – a balancing act that architects Erich Strolz and Dietrich Untertrifaller approached with great care. Meanwhile, Jacques Ferrier transformed the central administration building of Rouen into a three-dimensional impressionist painting by means of coloured glass louvres mounted at different angles. The reflection of the facade’s different colours on the surface of the Seine amplify the effect.

For our April issue, Frank Kaltenbach has compiled these and other outstanding examples that bring together architecture and colour through a variety of concepts and materials. Rounding out the vivid palette in this issue is our technical feature by David Keist, which presents sophisticated  colour technologies and their materials. Meanwhile, Anneke Bokern explores in her essay how the colour black is anchored in the building tradition by looking at various examples from ­different countries and epochs.

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