What role does colour play in our built environment? How are our attitudes to colour changing? What potential do new technologies bring for the use of colour and light in architecture?

Combining real examples from practice with colour theory, this book will help you to fully understand the role and impact of colour in our urban spaces. Contributions from leading architects Will Alsop, Legorreta and Legorreta, John Outram, Sauerbruch Hutton and Neuterlings Riedijk accompany those from artists Alain Bony and Yann Kersalé, and from colour researchers such as Kristina Enberg and Anders Hård, who developed the Natural Colour System. Topics include:

  • how and why we see colour
  • methodologies in the documentation of traditional colours
  • the development of new urban palettes
  • recent colour psychology research
  • the effect of light levels on human behaviour
  • dramatic colour effects achievable with light
  • guidelines for future deployment of colour in the built environment.

This is a sequel to the immensely influential Colour for Architecture, published in 1976. Much has changed in 30 years; new cutting edge technologies and materials have emerged allowing architects to experiment with colour and light in an energy efficient and sustainable way, paving the way for a more colourful and exciting built environment.

chapter |4 pages


ByTom Porter, Byron Mikellides

part 1|15 pages

Why and How we See Colour

chapter 1|4 pages

The Colour Currency of Nature

ByNicholas Humphrey

chapter 2|5 pages

Seeing Colours

ByByron Mikellides, Roy Osborne

chapter 3|4 pages

The Dynamics of Colour

ByPeter F. Smith

part 2|25 pages

Colour Mapping: Colour at the City Scale

chapter 4|4 pages

Light, Locale and the Color of Cities

ByLois Swirnoff

chapter 5|6 pages

Italian City Colour Plans (1978–2007)

ByGiovanni Brino

chapter 6|3 pages

Unity in Diversity at Kirchsteigfeld, Potsdam

ByWerner Spillmann

chapter 7|6 pages

The Geography of Colour

ByJean-Philippe Lenclos

chapter 8|3 pages

Digital Colour Mapping

ByZena O’Connor

part 3|29 pages

The NCS (Natural Color System) and Research Applications

chapter 9|6 pages

NCS – The Natural Color System for the Denotation of Colour

ByAnders Hård, Kristina Enberg

chapter 11|5 pages

Seven Kinds of Colour

ByPaul Green-Armytage

chapter 12|4 pages

Daylight Influence on Indoor Colour Design

ByMaud Hårleman

chapter 13|5 pages

The Longyearbyen Project: approach and method

ByGrete Smedal

part 4|37 pages

Architects and Colour at the Building Scale

chapter 14|2 pages

Color Structure: a perceptual techtonic

ByLois Swirnoff

chapter 15|3 pages

The Globalization of Colour

ByJean-Philippe Lenclos

chapter 16|5 pages

Evoking a Response

ByAlain Bony

chapter 17|7 pages

On Colour and Space

ByMatthias Sauerbruch, Louisa Hutton

chapter 19|3 pages

Code, Space and Light

ByMichiel Riedijk

chapter 20|2 pages

The Illusive Façade

ByNiall McLaughlin

chapter 21|2 pages


chapter 22|3 pages

The Colour of Money (It Doesn’t Matter)

ByWill Alsop

part 5|25 pages

Colour Psychology and Colour Aesthetics

chapter 23|4 pages

Colour Preference: the longitudinal perspective

ByByron Mikellides

chapter 24|4 pages

Preferences for Colours on Buildings

ByJan Janssens, Rikard Küller

chapter 25|7 pages

Colour, Arousal, Hue-Heat and Time Estimation

ByByron Mikellides

chapter 26|3 pages

Colour Synaesthesia: seeing sound and hearing colour

ByAndrew Jones

chapter 27|4 pages

Light, Mood and Seasonal Disorders

ByRikard Küller

part 6|27 pages

Into the Light

chapter 28|5 pages

Being in Colour

ByPeter Jones

chapter 30|3 pages

New 42nd Street, New York

ByAnne Militello

chapter 31|8 pages

The Fisherman of Light

ByYann Kersalé