Educational field trip to Como, Italy, for thirteen architecture practices from Greece and Cyprus, sponsored by AkzoNobel and Color /n Architecture. ― 

Between 3 and 5 October, thirteen architecture practices from Greece and Cyprus had the opportunity to participate in an important educational field trip to AkzoNobel’s biggest powder coatings manufacturing plant in Europe. The aim of the visit was to get better acquainted with the powder coating technology, from the manufacturing stage, to application on steel and aluminum surfaces. The architects took part in a specially designated workshop where they applied powder coatings themselves and observed what to notice when specifying color correctly. The visit to Como is the first among a series of educational initiatives sponsored by AkzoNobel through Color /n Architecture: The aim is to better inform architects how to think with color, instead of merely thinking of color as an additive, upon the body of architecture.

Powder coating technology is the most environmentally friendly contemporary approach to architectural color; it has the smallest environmental impact, from manufacturing stage, to application. AkzoNobel asked of the participating architects to spontaneously choose three of their favorite colors from its award-winning color swatch book, and then, introduced them to hands-on application in a personalized commemorative object, that they took back home after leaving Como. During the visit, the architects had the opportunity to debate upon the “chromopohobia” in contemporary architectural education, and also, to examine their favorite colors in an analytical mindset. Color in architecture is not only chosen on the grounds of tonality, meaning hue, but also, as reflectivity, texture, and “metallic” properties: Metallic colors are those colors containing tiny specks of reflective aluminum, and thy proved to be the most interesting to observe, because they look very different according to their interaction with various light sources. This property can only be observed with the aid of physical specimens, and 3-d representations often don’t even get close to their actual impression on a building.

The field trip ended with a ling visit to the Findazione Prada in Milan, where the architects discovered the limits of material imagination, applied on an innovative building. The debate launched at Como took on in a different framework, and all left together as friends.

The workshop was designed by Sotiria Liakata, Marketing Mng. and Architectural Specifications Consultant for AkzoNobel Greece, and Stavros Martinos, Curator of Color/n Architecture. For the production of memorabilia, special thanks are due to Semiotik Design Agency for the cover graphic on the box, and to A31 Objects for the concrete base.

The architecture firms that participated at the first workshop sponsored by Color/n Architecture were: Tense Architecture Network, AVW Architecture, Scapearchitecture, Aristides Dallas Architects, Daskalaki-Papadopoulos Architects, R|C|TECH, Urban Soul Project, OOAK Architects, Pieris Architects, Dimitra Riza Architecture, SquareOne Architects, K-Studio and LAAV Architects.


Photo and Video Credits: Harry Lapsatis