Colouring in the black and greys of skyscraper design

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Colouring in the black and greys of skyscraper design

Colouring in the black and greys of skyscraper design

One young architectural firm committed to injecting smart, effective colour into the city is Berlin-based Sauerbruch Hutton. A couple of years ago, Toronto got a chance to hear what this critically celebrated office was up to, when Matthias Sauerbruch, co-founder (with Louisa Hutton) of the 100-person company, spoke at a local design exposition.

I asked the architect why we don’t see more colour in the contemporary cityscape.

He replied: “In postmodern times” – roughly 1970 to 1990 – “there was a lot of colour in a Pop Art sort of way, garish sometimes. The use of colour was meant to be a shock, a departure from the good manners of modernism. Then, there was a reaction against that, in neo-modernism and minimalism, in polite white surfaces. Now colour is slowly, slowly coming back, as a way of tuning buildings, almost like you would tune an instrument – slightly shifting their appearance, their identity, their atmospheric quality. Like music, colour can be horrible, it can be noise. But it can also be a symphony.” […]

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