Building Façade Colour Reports

I provide evidence-based facade colour reports and colour scheme options for private residences, apartment buildings and commercial buildings.  These include information about local government facade colour regulations and guidelines, Heritage Office recommendations and take into account contextual colour.

  • Research into facade colour guidelines and planning regulations at local Council and State government level to ensure that proposed colour scheme options meet current guidelines and planning regulations;
  • Research and analysis of architectural design style and historic facade colours of the building plus liaison with Heritage Office (as appropriate) to ensure facade colour options suit architectural style and design;
  • Facade colour recommendations based on architectural style, urban design context and relevant planning policy regulations;
  • Colour scheme design specifications including colour samples and colour placement (including external masonry walls, door/window frames and soffit);
  • Recommended paint technology specifications (context-dependent) and recommended paint supplier.

I have worked on a range of different projects including private residences, apartment and commercial buildings plus advised on issues such as visual amenity, building facade colour congruity plus likely variations in respect to specified vs. perceived facade colour.

Apartment building, Kirribilli 2017

The owners of this unique building located on Sydney Harbour need evidence-based facade colour options for the planned repainting of the building. The proposed facade colours will need to comply with local North Sydney Council requirements as well as guidelines provided by Heritage Office NSW.

An unusual building, it was designed by Stuart Mill Mould of Esplin and Mould Architects in the late 1920s. These are the same architects responsible for the design of the Chicago School-style Astor apartment building (1923) in Macquarie Street, Sydney, the first block of individually owned home units in Sydney.

Specified vs. Perceived Colour

Facade colour can vary in hue and tonal value depending on contextual colour. The owners of this harbour-side house wanted a Tuscan-style soft terracotta colour. However, the building was surrounded by dark green foliage. The dark green colours of the surroundings set up a environmental simultaneous contrast with the building, making the facade colour appear lighter and marginally desaturated. A slightly brighter, stronger terracotta colour was specified to allow for simultaneous contrast effect and achieve the perceved colour that the owners wanted.

Private residence, Tara Anderson and Bob Short, Rozelle 2014

The challenge with facade colour design for this residence was the prevalence of grey in the surrounding buildings and the owner’s desire to avoid grey. The existing roof was Colorbond Pale Eucalypt and the owners also wanted the structure look more solid relative to the surroundings houses. Resene Quarter Truffle Aquanamel was specified for the door and window trims as this would provide a cohesive light neutral colour that links to the colours of the surrounding buildings. A number of options were provided including Resene Escapade (light French navy), Resene Amethyst Smoke (muted purple/grey) and Resene Spanish White (warm neutral beige), and the preferred colour chosen was Resene Amethyst Smoke in Lumbersider Matt.

Ensemble Theatre, Kirribilli 2006.

This facade colour study was undertaken for the director of the Ensemble Theatre, Sandra Bates.  The building’s facade colour needed to comply with existing local North Sydney Council requirements and Heritage Office guidelines. In addition, the building’s facade colours also needed to complement existing buildings in the surrounding area plus provide sufficient contrast for signage to be effective.

Ensemble Theatre Zena O'Connor

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