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Colour and Texture


At the start of the new year we ask a profound ­question that has been on our minds since an ­interview with Bjarke Ingels and Kai-Uwe Bergmann from BIG: Has the future already begun? The two architects ­certainly think so. Though the projects they have been working on with influential partners like Nasa may sound like science fiction, they are already in the planning stages or currently being implemented. This includes not only terrestrial ­interventions by the Bjarke Ingels Group, such as the Hyperloop, but also projects on the moon and Mars. Listening to Ingels, it’s easy to believe that their colonization is imminent. In our interview with them, the two architects describe the projects BIG is planning and implementing for life on other planets.

For the project documentations in this issue, we focused on earthly buildings and looked at ­colour concepts in architecture, be it for individual ­buildings or urban spaces.

What colour is the historic old town in Göttingen? How can a new building hold its own among the city’s traditional half-timbered houses? Silvia Schellenberg-Thaut and Sebastian Thaut from Atelier ST in Leipzig realized a compelling concept for the Kunsthaus in Göttingen, a university town in Germany’s state of Lower Saxony. The facade of the cultural centre interprets the building ­tradition of its neighbours, and ­colour plays a prominent role.

With this issue on colour and texture we kick off the new year, and wish you all the best for 2022! We consider a variety of different colour concepts, from muted and restrained building exteriors to bright accents in reddish purple or radiant blue. In the spirit of architectural modernism, London-based architects Wittham Cox looked to Le Corbusier’s ­colour palette for their overhaul of a Brutalist student housing block in Sheffield, England. Similar to the Swiss architect’s Unités d’Habitations, the balcony reveals are painted in primary colours that soften the building’s exposed concrete surfaces and add to the cheerful character of the residence hall. The use of colour is much more discreet at the San Riemo cooperative housing development in Munich, and in the studio extension by Office S&M in London. Both use light tones and pastel colours on individual elements to create visual highlights in the space. In our special Interiors section, compiled by Peter Popp, interior ­colour design is applied to existing structures. The mix of materials and colour tones unfolds a unique spatial effect in the documented home interiors.

What else awaits you in 2022 at Detail? In each issue, our new interview series on climate change will highlight its impacts and possible solutions in architecture. We first spoke with Tatiana Bilbao from Mexico City, who sees the response to climate issues as an opportunity for more diversity and social justice. Our 2022 editorial calendar includes issues on urban housing, low-cost construction, and greening cities, as well as circular economy strategies. Congresses on modular construction and building envelopes are planned for May and October. The Detail Award 2022 will be presented in November.

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