Any Colour You Like... At The Building Centre Gallery

By Richard Moss | 22 January 2003

Left: A flood of light and colour: Foster and Partners with Per Arnoldi - Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College, London. Picture courtesy: The Building Centre Trust.

Any colour you like - as long as it's black, goes the usual aphorism. In a dazzling new exhibition called Any Colour You Like… the Building Centre Trust lays waste to such negativity at the Building Centre Gallery until April 5.

Using recent case studies as a base to explore and interpret contemporary attitudes towards the use of colour, the exhibition aims to investigate both the art and science of its use.

It's a colourful exhibition that eschews the perceived English obsession with the colourless tones of magnolia and other conservative hues. "Colour plays an extremely important role in the perception, understanding and enjoyment of our surroundings and yet do we take advantage of the opportunities it affords us?" ask the organisers.

Right: Is this the architectural future? Spacelab provide some answers. Spacelab - Kunsthaus, Graz. Picture courtesy: The Building Centre Trust.

In a bold attempt to answer this question the exhibition examines the use of a range of colour effects ranging from the spatial and artistic to the purely emotional and psychological.

As one would expect of an organisation that provides support for educational, research and cultural activities connected with the built environment, Any Colour You Like showcases the design capabilities of colour as a tool within architecture.

"The exhibition is intended to create enthusiasm, understanding and promote greater use of colour," said Jackson Hunt of the Building Centre Trust.

Left: Architecture meets art and science - the WaG Architecture installation splits light into colour. Picture courtesy Building Centre Trust.

Visitors are treated to a number of colourful case studies and projects from an impressive range of architectural practitioners. Names such as Ushida Findlay, Alsop, Spacelab and David Chipperfield contribute to an international line up that represents some of the boldest and best in UK and world architecture.

There are projections, monitors and DVD screens as well as project boards that mix text with colour illustrations. There are also two large and eye-catching light installations.

The latter, stunning contributions from WaG Architecture and Hugh Broughton respectively split light into colour and explore the possibilities of white light.

Right: Colour in the interior and exterior environments: Niall McLaughlin Architects - Silvertown, East London. Picture courtesy: The Building Centre Trust.

It makes for an informative and entertaining investigation of both the art and science of colour and should interest not only those interested in architecture, science or art, but anyone with an eye for the joyful possibillities of colour.

A series of lectures and seminars have been scheduled to compliment the exhibition. For further details contact the gallery (see details below) or visit

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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