Architects design structures with a set of values and beliefs that guides the way they deliver their contribution to architecture. The core beliefs define their methods and processes which are sought as design philosophies. But to deliver what an architect desires through his structures. Colours play just as important a role as design philosophies, material, and construction.
Today, we get you a few of the most famous architects and their preferred colour palette:
1. Antoni Gaudi
Antoni Gaudi was a Spanish architect who spent his career in and around Barcelona. Gaudi’s distinctive style of work is characterized by the form of freedom, voluptuous color and texture with an ornate mixture of Gothic, Baroque, Victorian and Moorish Elements that often depicted forms in nature. This Spanish architect prefers colors – brown, grey, white, yellow, orange, red, green and blues in his color palate.
2. Frank Lloyd Wright
F.L.Wright was an American Architect. He has designed more than 1000 structures in 70 years of his architectural career. This American architect had strong beliefs in designing harmony with humanity with its environment, a philosophy which he called organic architecture. F.L.Wright preferred color palette includes colors – brown, yellow-green, orange, gold and shades of warm reds.
3. Mies Van der Rohe
Holding the proposition “Less is more”, The German architect Mies Van der Rohe approached architecture with geometric forms, pointing his philosophies to Minimalism. His architectural style created statements with extreme simplicity and clarity. He approached his designs with materials such as plate glass and steel to define the look of his structures and strove towards minimal framework against the free-flowing open spaces and so he called his buildings “Skin and bones” architecture. Miles Van der Rohe used colours – Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Red and shades of grey in his colour palette.
4. Philip Johnson
The American Architect Philip Johnson was best known for his works of modern and postmodern architecture. His architectural style adapted from pure modernism to neoclassicism and post-modernism ideologies and presented his work and design sensibility in various lights. Philip Johnson’s colour palette involved colours and shades mostly of – Brown and white and shades of grey.
The Italian architect designs are known as the environmental conception of designs. The integration of the social aspect is one of the most considered aspects in his designs. He believes that social problems can find solutions in the construction of “compact cities with multiple centres”. Roger’s architectural philosophies are referred to as transparent, legible, lightweight systems and green. This architect’s colour palette involves – Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, Pink, Blue and Whites.
6. Frank Gehry
The American architect Frank Gehry is recognized for his structures resembling art. He analyses and manipulates the constraints of his projects and expresses them in his creations. He approaches each building as sculptural objects and paintings. His strong belief in people being the most important aspect of architecture helps him to make expressive buildings to humanize architecture. Frank Gehry includes colours like – shades of blues, grey’s, green, blue, yellow and red in his palettes.
7. Norman Foster
Normal Foster, a prolific British architect is known for his modern and sleek designs made in glass and steel with inner space management and innovations in contouring. Foster strongly believes that “Great architecture should wear its message lightly”. For him, architecture is about social agenda and how we build reflects how we live as he seeks architecture as the embodiment of civic values. Norman Foster Includes colours like – Grey, Blue and their shades in his colour palette.
8. Zaha Hadid
The Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid is recognized for her futuristic design characterized by sharp angles, curved facades and for the usage of materials like concrete and steel. She is well known for radical and deconstructive designs. She strongly believes that architecture is about well-being and that people want to feel good in spaces and those structures are for shelter and experiencing spaces with pleasure. Architect Zaha Hadid includes colours and shades of the colours – white and grey in most of her designs.
9. Santiago Calatrava
The work of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is recognized as Neofuturist. His designs look towards the future not just with materials but also technology that the architect uses to deliver his designs. Santiago Calatrava has revolutionized the usage of steel and concrete in his structures and architecture as well. This Spanish architect uses mostly white colour in his colour palette.
10. Laurie Baker
Lawrence Wilfred Baker or commonly known as Laurie Baker was a British-born Indian architect. He was renowned for his initiatives in Cost-effective and energy-efficient designs with maximized light and ventilation. His strong beliefs in minimizing harm to the natural surroundings and usage of local and eco-friendly materials for construction.
He is also well recognized as a pioneer of sustainable architecture as well as organic architecture. Baker preferred the colour palette that included colours of natural materials like – brown and shades of red (bricks and mud and Mangalore tiles), grey (rubble).
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Time Out New York. (2019). The best architects of all time, ranked. [online] Available at: https://www.timeout.com/newyork/art/best-architects-of-all-time-ranked.
Study.com. (2019). Frank Gehry: Design Philosophy & Process | Study.com. [online] Available at: https://study.com/academy/lesson/frank-gehry-design-philosophy-process.html.
RTF | Rethinking The Future. (2020). 15 Projects by Richard Rogers – Rethinking The Future. [online] Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/know-your-architects/a545-15-projects-by-richard-rogers/#ecd66e760c87efc17ad918008547540db60d6032#100718
[Accessed 19 Sep. 2021].
RTF | Rethinking The Future. (2020). Understanding the design philosophy of Santiago Calatrava. [online] Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/know-your-architects/a1665-understanding-the-design-philosophy-of-santiago-calatrava/.
RTF | Rethinking The Future. (2021). First and Last structures by Antoni Gaudi- Evolution of Design. [online] Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/know-your-architects/a4079-first-and-last-structures-by-antoni-gaudi-evolution-of-design/
[Accessed 19 Sep. 2021].