Use of color in residential buildings : a case study on facades of apartment blocks in Ankara

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010

Thesis Language: English

Student: Pelin Yurt



Color is a significant architectural element, which is open to become a major representative element in the process of design. This study aims to understand the limits of using color as an architectural element and discuss the transformative effects of the use of color with respect to meaning and design levels of buildings. The study is composed of two main parts. In the first part limits of using color as a complementary and consequential part of design are discussed. The architectural understanding of color in the 20th century is utilized as the main ground for a contemporary case study. The case study in the second part uses residential buildings in Ankara as the main domain to understand the continuities and discontinuities between color preferences and architectural meaning. The method of the study is based on comparison of the facades of residential buildings of various contexts, scales, languages and typologies in five different categories. The first category is “The Figural Use of Color” which is constituted by decorated facades. “The Elemental Use of Color” is the second category based upon the continuity between tectonic elements of facade and color. The third is the “Material Color and Painting,” which is based upon the color representations of the natural material preferences supported by additional painting. “Tectonic Use of Color” as the fourth frame implies color brought by the nature of the material. The last category is “Monochromatic Use of Color” in which the facades are colored in a single hue or different lightness of the same hue.