The 5th Dimension: Colour in Architecture (Spring 2012)
Orientation Course AT/ATH Spring Term 2012 A42O2A
The course deals with the role and meaning of colour in architecture from classical antiquity to contemporary buildings. The strong and active visual presence of colour in most historical traditions contrasts with its generally marginalized place in contemporary theories and curricula of the architectural discipline. Therefore historical cultures where colour effects predominate are presented and discussed in the course, with a special focus on medieval architecture and its reception by radical architects of the 19th and 20th centuries. A study visit to the National Historical Museum (Historiska museet) and the medieval ecclesiastical art exhibition with its polychrome altarpieces is included, along with lecture themes on medieval and modern polychromy. Connections of colours to specific building materials are considered, but also perceptive values and symbolic meanings. From these aspects other lectures present Islamic and Byzantine uses of colour in architecture, as well as vernacular examples and modern colour theories from 18th through 20th centuries. An assignment is included, where groups of students are expected to analyze the history and potential meaning, character, connotations and architectural uses of a chosen specific colour.