Colour, Materials, Finishes
Some places or epochs are identified with certain colours: Siena for example, which lent its name to yellowish-brown pig-ments, or the Habsburg era with its Imperial yellow. Tel Aviv, has its White City – a UNESCO World Heritage site designed by Jewish architects who studied at the Bauhaus. White is the colour identified with the Modern Movement, of course, but the coloured interiors of the masters’ houses in Dessau by Walter Gropius show that not everything was reduced to that hue.
There are probably just as many colour theories as there are colour tones; but the streets in our towns and cities are rarely characterized by a consistent colour scheme. In this respect, the materials and their surface finishes play a dominant role. In our December issue, we present various architectural concepts that focus on the effects of colour. For example, the Sparren-burg Visitors’ Centre in Bielefeld with its tamped concrete facades enters into a dialogue with the historical surroundings, while the polychrome glazing of Sauerbruch Hutton’s office building in London forms a deliberate counterpoint to the urban environment. As one can see, architecture has to come to terms with colour. There is no such thing as neutrality.