Color in Architecture Essays

Color in Architecture Essays

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Color is one of essential factors in architecture, as James B. Jordan said:” Color is inescapable, except for those who are color blind”, which means how to use color in architecture be of great significance. People tend to acquire perceptual knowledge of one material through color, shape and texture, color hold the most important position. People can identify a city including culture, classic by urban color. In addition, color in architecture’ functionality cannot be ignored. It contributes to bring convenient and efficient lifestyle for civil. Moreover, successful urban colors improve the public impression, result to promote and attract visitors. However, influence of color in architecture does not only good, blind chase for individuality may cause “color pollution”, also the visual fatigue and confusion. In order to succeed in designing the way to use color, some points should be included—culture, landscape, and function.

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According to Vastus Hastra (a system), color synchronizes and balances our energies and affects our lifestyle. For example, red reminds us of fire, power and energy. By contrast, blue signifies water, freshness, melancholy. However, each color has its own special meaning in different countries, which means colors symbolize different cultures of cities or countries. For instance, the Forbidden City in China used yellow and red as dominant tones, because of traditional opinions in China. Chines believe yellow is the imperial color, flowing over the rooftops reflects honor of the emperor. “Red color of the walls was considered symbol of happiness and auspiciousness.” that is why ancient architects selected red as main tone of the Forbidden City. However, Chinese believe that black represents wat...


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Although physical geography and human geography are main elements of color in architecture, structure of building also decides the distribution of colors. Symmetry and contrast are usually used in design. The former consists of same acreage or shape of colors currently, the latter chooses strong color to strengthen visual effects. With the appearance of Deconstruction Architecture, some architects tend to use multi-component and fragmentized elements in designs, colors has these features as well. Imperial War Museum North is a representative of Deconstruction Architecture, the fragmentized and dark color create the serious atmosphere which appeal to the function of museum simultaneously.

Color in architecture needs system considering, apart from the factor mentioned above such as culture, geography, function and structure, other elements should be thought.

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