Importance of Color in Architecture

published On Jan 04 2017

Importance of Color in Architecture

While architecture influences our lives in more ways than we can think, the use of color with the type of architecture makes a built form way more influential. 

Usage of colors in a building has evolved over the years. From the cities culturally depending on the materials available locally like stones, limestone, etc. have given some cities a natural demarcating colors like Jaipur and Jaisalmer in India, Chefchaouen in Morocco, etc. 

( the Old City of Jaipur- Red sandstone gives the city its identity)
Image credit: Flickr/fpgo


(Old City of Jaisalmer-Yellow sandstone gives the city a sense of collective belonging)

Image credit: Flickr/robi_13


(Moroccan city Chefchaouen- The city is painted blue for the apparent theories of either keeping mosquitoes away or as a symbol of freedom from Hitler)
Image credit: Flickr/[email protected]


Colors help in developing perspective and understanding the nature of a building. Therapeutically, architecture and color go hand in hand. 

In the past decade, the greyer cities like London, and other European cities, have started using bold colors on the façade and the interiors. 


(Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano in London, strikes out with bold use of colorful façade in a grey London)
Image credit: Flickr/mattia_bicchi


Many architects see this as a revolution for these cities. 

The Color Theory, is a topic of evaluation and study in various fields, including medical and other sciences. Colors like whites and greys have always been favored by the architects and designers, but many architects have been bold enough to realize that the effect of these colors can be graving, and feel isolated. So eventually, architects and healthcare organizations have realized and come together to make more habitable and colorful centers and this has proven positive.


(Kaiser Permanante Los Angeles Medical Centre-Use of hues of orange makes it more than a room of a hospital and provides better perspective)
Image credit: Flickr/lamc_kp


Even in public places like streets, food courts, etc. colorful street patterns, street art and installations have been admired by the public and noticeably, has pulled a larger crowd out on the streets and have given the reason to festively celebrate the streetscape. Such art practices involving colors help develop the culture and identity of a city. The sudden randomness and elements of surprise are always a welcoming and a warm gesture, and thus, this makes up for the daily routine life of a normal person.


(Santiago Cuba Installation on a street)


(Installations on the pathways and stairs in a European City providing a vibrant atmosphere for the public)

The places and spaces above, are a clear indication of the evolution of our interaction with the spaces through the times and eras. It is an important and needed approach to accept architecture, just for the fact that our daily lives are affected by all the places and their way of existence, it becomes necessary that the use of colors in appropriate and subtle ways is understood and implemented. It enhances the ability to intercept better with the surrounding and triggers our mood. 

Every space can be distinguished with its approach towards the human and non-human interaction. Architecture plays an important role in promoting it, and color in architecture helps understand that interaction better.

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