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Colors are responsible for a diversity of psychic boosts, most of them unconscious. Color actively influence the experience of those who perceive it and this is not different in the architecture field. The architecture colors can affect us in a positive or negative way and they fulfill a function, which is as important as the constructive elements that constitute an architectural work.


Deciding the final color of a project is a huge responsibility. Whether for a private home, a commercial place, educational, social or a recreational center; color is a very important part of the building finishings, not only for the aesthetic appearance but also for the building itself.

How do colors influence us in architecture?

It is the people who will finally react to the final result. A construction can evoke many emotions and sensations, not only for its architectural element but also for the color that tint it. 


When it comes to selecting lighting and color in architecture, it is important to take into consideration the sensation that it will cause in the people who will inhabit it. We unconsciously (and consciously) tend to attribute different colors to different places, such as white to clean hospitals, or warm colors to restaurants.

The importance of color in residential buildings

The colors of painted houses in a neighborhood generate a direct impact on the people who live in the surroundings and see those buildings every day. Constantly, people decide to paint their house and say that they don’t want to choose a very striking color for the fear of getting tired, but it is used to be precisely the opposite.


We will never get tired of the countryside full of flowers that we see through the window every day, so an architectural intervention with saturated colors will not necessarily have a negative effect.

Social housing is often painted with bright colors and the people who live-in are often stigmatized only because they are recognized inhabitants of these kinds of buildings, but the truth is that these colors do nothing but create positive stimuli in the people who live in the neighborhood.


When we walk through an atypical neighborhood with diverse and bright architecture-colors, we usually feel good and comfortable. These neighborhoods are usually key points for touristic activities in the city precisely because of the colors of their facades. Some examples of this type of neighborhoods are Burano, in Venice, or Bo-Kaap, in Cape Town.

In the opposite case, we can speak of numerous examples of working-class neighborhoods with gray buildings. When we think that we are going to get tired of a violet house and not a gray house, we can’t be more wrong. The colors that we use to cover the buildings of our environment definitely have a direct impact on our lives. Contemplating the colorful houses around us daily, going to a school painted in sky blue or a lime-colored center of children's activities will provide us with positive sensations for our nervous system.

Master in Collective Housing UPM/ETH

Next edition of the MAS in Collective Housing will start in January 2019, and the application period is opened till 31.12.2018 or until vacancies are filled. 
The Master of Architecture in Collective HousingMCH, is a postgraduate full-time international professional program of advanced architecture design in cities and housing presented by Universidad Politécnica of Madrid (UPM) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).  Apply now!
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