Exhibition explores the power of colour

The use of colour in architectural design is the focus of a new exhibition at the University.

Colour Strategies in Architecture features hand-mixed and hand-painted collages, illustrating the way in which colour is used by six architectural practices from Edinburgh, Berlin and Zurich.

International collaboration

The exhibition and accompanying book is the result of a three-year international and interdisciplinary collaboration between the University and Haus Der Farbe, an institution in Zurich renowned for its work in colour design.

Edinburgh academic, Professor Fiona McLachlan worked with art historians and a colour designer from Haus Der Farbe, as well as students from both institutions, to develop the exhibition, which looks at building designs from the 1920s to the present day.

Colour Strategies in Architecture: Exhibition information

Venue: The Matthew Architecture Gallery University of Edinburgh, 20 Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JZ

Dates: Now - until 3 November Opening times: Mon - Fri 10-4.30pm, Sat 10-4pm, closed Sun

Next showing: The Glasgow Lighthouse, 1 Feb - 3 April 2016 (Part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design)

Raising awareness

Professor McLachlan argues that colour is an aspect of architectural studies that is often forgotten about.

She hopes the exhibition will prompt students, designers, architects and the wider public to reconsider the power colour can have in the spaces we inhabit.

We are delighted to work with the Haus Der Farbe on this thought-provoking project. The use of colour is a crucial consideration in disciplines such as film and graphic design, but is fast becoming an afterthought in architecture. We hope the exhibition will heighten awareness of how colour can be used appropriately to positively change the way people experience spaces, as well as being visually stimulating.

Professor Fiona McLachlanEdinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Vibrant display

The exhibition features a number of richly coloured abstract paintings conveying the proportions and compositions of the buildings studied.

Designs featured include the hushed tones of the Reiach and Hall, two Edinburgh housing projects designed by Sir Basil Spence and Partners and the psychedelic Berlin Underground in the 1970s.

The paintings are accompanied by a large installation named Shoulder to Shoulder, which brings more than 350 coloured tiles together - taken from all the practices featured in the exhibition - highlighting the ways colours relate to one another.

An intricately designed hardback book with foldout colour plates has also been produced to offer context to the project and develop the strategies in a series of essays. The book is available to reserve at a special exhibition price of £30 - normally £49.99.