Color in Institutional Spaces

From JPCL, May 2016

By Billy Rosbottom, Sto Corp.

Many see institutional buildings as synonymous with cold, bare concrete, perceiving them as dysfunctional, unfeeling and evil. But the architectural language of institutional spaces is evolving, with harsh uniformity giving way to inspired, inclusive, enriching environments....

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Tagged categories: Architectural history; Architecture; Color; Color + Design; Color + Design; Color trends; Health Care/Hospitals; Modernist architecture; Sto Corp

Comment from Jesse Melton, (5/13/2016, 6:17 AM)

Color is great, but with institutional architecture color tends to blow right by tasteful and inviting and doesn't even slow down until surreal, and possibly insane, are in the rearview. The surrealism steadily progresses with the passage of time as some colors become institutionalized themselves. A great example is that impossible to paint over, seasick greenish color that's inside every place you don't want to be (hospital, jail, IRS office, morgue, grammar school auditoriums). Exterior colors are the same, except you don't have to be inside a place you don't want to be. They bring the headache into the sun for all to see. Today's rich TARDIS blue is tomorrow's Smurfberry hangover. Reds look like pestilential citrus fruits and yellows become colors you won't find in any Pantone book. The worst part is that there's nothing to be done about it because there's never enough money in an institutional facility budget to fund a later makeover. Eventually someone running for public office will make razing the monstrosity the cornerstone of their campaign and they'll win because of it. I know color can be done tastefully, but that doesn't make a statement so you rarely see it.

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