Color In Architecture Essay

1185 words - 5 pages

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.

Main body:
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 water and could extinguish fire. Wenyuange, a royal library, becomes the exception of whole city due to its black roof. Another example is Burano -- an island in Venice. It is known for its “small, brightly-painted houses, popular with artists”. Local people need to send applications to government if they want to paint their houses. The city consists of colorful houses, and this trait attracts thousands of visitors each year.

In addition, religion trend to use colors in church as divine symbol; the seven colors--red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and purple are elements of the rainbow which are used in stained windows’ glass. When natural light penetrates into church, the atmosphere is changed, and become pious.

Color plays an important role in architecture, culture and region. In order to create a harmonious environment, the approach to using color must be well thought out. “Color is the life of a city, color planning is important to a modern city to show its culture and grade” Xu Lei (2006) claimed. The easiest way to match color with environment is to use colors in same color system. St. Paul’s Cathedral, for example, chose wheat as whole tone, which was similar to circumjacent buildings’ colors....

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