Celebrating Colour / by Tim Ratliff

Tim standing outside Dane Park in matching yellow.

Tim standing outside Dane Park in matching yellow.

Last year the Turner Contemporary held the summer of colour exhibition, which saw a multitude of community pieces – all bright, beautiful and varied - being carried out across Margate and Cliftonville. It was a joyful celebration of simply being and it got us thinking. 

The dignified and sober grey’s dominant in many recent buildings may just be playing it a bit safe, avoiding the instant emotional response colour evokes and relying solely on the more fundamental impact of volume, scale and module. Not that that’s a bad thing, we just think there’s something to be had in the selected use of bright colour. The perfect and instant expression of joy, both playful and amusing, there’s nothing wrong with an instant smile if you ask us and that’s exactly what we’ll be aiming to do with future projects. 

It’s not all about primary colours for us though; the subtle use of tones and hues, which pick up and react to location and landscape can produce delightful results. As with the Chipperfields’ excellent Turner Contemporary here in Margate, which has a skin that manages to reflect without mocking the aching blues of the sea and sky it looks towards.

Check out our 'Celebrate The Colour' Pinterest board for some more inspiration and a selection of projects that we think have done it rather well. 

There’s something unashamedly positive about the use of colour in the built environment, it’s all about pleasure and celebration and we think that’s entirely appropriate. So we’ll be giving it a go, injecting it where we can and investing moments of delight into dignified compositions.

Get ready to smile.