“To color, or not to color? That is the question. Whether tis nobler in the sketchbook to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous saturation, or to take arms against a sea of hues, and by opposing end them?” – adapted from Hamlet
To have a favorite color is to say one is partial and exclusionary. Can an architect afford this partiality, this bravado, this arrogance to say one color is better than all the rest? Or should we be like Richard Meier and have a perverse and obscene love affair with stark white reflection? Or perhaps like Michael Graves and his penchant for splashing color all over a building like a child’s painting? If a client comes to us and says “it has to be blue”, do we turn away horrified and ashamed because we can’t fathom a building any other color but sea foam or turquoise?
And what does a color say about us as people, as designers, as architects, as builders? Do colors hold magical powers of influence over us? Are you defined, summed up or encompassed by color? I certainly hope not.
I personally love the color RED. It’s a passionate, bold and beautiful color. But then, I’m an Aries, a fire sign, I’m HOT baby, yeah. Does that define me? Certainly not. I am also fond of natural colors, muted pastels, stark contrasting lights and darks, the moody blues, the giddy greens, and the soothing taupes. Color is just as much a part of architecture as the beam or curtain wall or roof or slab. Without color, material is lacking something, some tangible “thing” that can never fully be described but you know “it” has to be there or “it” just doesn’t work.
In short (not really) COLOR, a specific color, should not be favored above another. Do not limit or label yourself by a color, but instead embrace them all in a swirling crayola corn-o-copia of pleasure and visual stimulation! You’ll thank me later.