Color for Architects ― 

Color for Architects is the latest book in Princeton Arhitectural Press’ “Architecture Briefs” series. Aimed at architecture students and young professionals, but also at the architectural community at large, Architecture Briefs are packed with bite-sized, easily digestible information on all those things people wish Architecture School had taught them, and yet it never did. Color for Architects takes the idea one step further and introduces practical exercises after each one of its 15 chapters, to help the reader digest all the scientific or theoretical data in a hands-on, practical and fun way. For this reason, AkzoNobel Greece chose to distribute Color for Architects as a corporate gift to 50 architecture and design practices in Greece and Cyprus, in view of its mission to educate architects, as well as the public at large, on the countless uses of color in the built environment, in a comprehensive manner.

The author, Juan Serra Lluch, is an architecture professor in Spain, a country with a vibrant contemporary architectural culture, that has embraced color more than just about any other in modern times.  The book’s fifteen chapters are structured  in three parts. The four chapters in part one describe how color works, in scientific terms and in regards to perception, which is particularly important for architects. The second part, with six chapters, addresses color for architectural projects. Here there are plenty of precedents to look at but also the author tackling “the myth of white in modern architecture”, which, in fact, doesn’t hold at all. Part three’s five chapters are the most practical, focused on workflow and loaded with information on manipulating colors in Photoshop, calibrating a monitor, and other ways of dealing with color in digital environments.

The limited-edition dustjacket, designed by C/nA curator, Stavros Martinos, and sponsored by AkzoNobel Greece, is a tongue-in-cheek affirmation of the architects’ love for the color black: If one were to choose a “color for architects”, black would most probably be it. However, upon closer inspection, the dustjacket presents those properties that most people, architects included, often fail to notice in color: The smooth matte black paper is printed in silver matte metallic ink with a slight texture to it, that invites tactility; furthermore, the words “Color” on the cover and binding face of the book are stamped with holographic foil, that, under a different light, appears either as a smooth glossy silver adjacent to the matte typography, or as a gradient of colors that change as the typographic elements interact with their environment.

Color for Architects was published in May 2019 and is available for sale from Princeton Architectural Press.


Photos by “A Daily Dose of Architecture Books