by | 23. Aug 2012



Three great contemporary architects and designers talk about the use of colours in their work.

“The nature of colours should change – no longer just a thin layer of change, but something that genuinely alters perception” – this stipulation of Rem Koolhaas is echoed by world renown architects and designers Norman Foster and Alessandro Mendini.

Over 90 colours are represented accompanied by comments on the background, the significance and the applications of the colours.

This comprehensive presentation of the varying approaches to colour shows the wide use of colour in todays technologically advanced architecture with its modern, post-modern and deconstructive orientation. Examples used range from load-bearing structures to facades, interior design, furnishing and the entire spectrum of product design.

2.Mendini.jpgPhoto courtesy Birkhäuser

There is something slightly culinary about putting colours together in a building, in an object…And similarly, it is a rhythmic thing.
/Alessandro Mendini

3.Koolhaas.jpgPhoto courtesy Birkhäuser

There are two kinds of colour. The ones that are integral to a material, or a substance – they cannot be changed – and the ones that are artificial, that can be applied and that transform the appearance of things. The difference between colour and paint.
/Rem Koolhaas

4.Metro.jpgPhoto: arcspace

There is always a degree of anxiety as we descend into the earth below us…. In the Bilbao Metro reassurance and orientation is helped by the consistent use of red as a signal to announce the system and to guide one through it.
/Norman Foster