Façade Colour Strategies

I provide evidence-based facade colour strategies, colour scheme options and reports for private residences, strata apartment buildings and commercial buildings. Scope of work can include the following:

  • Facade colour strategies and recommendations based on architectural style, urban design context and relevant planning policy regulations;
  • Research at local Council and State government level plus Heritage Office to ensure that proposed colour scheme options meet current guidelines and planning regulations;
  • Research and analysis of architectural design style and historic facade colours to ensure facade colour options are appropriate to architectural style and design;
  • Colour scheme design specifications including colour samples and colour placement (external painted surfaces, cladding, door/window frames, soffit, etc);
  • Recommended context-dependent paint technology specifications and recommended paint supplier;
  • Recommended painting contractors that are Master Painters Association accredited.

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

Facade colour strategies were created for 192 building located on Sydney Harbour. Proposed colour schemes needed 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. These are the same architects responsible for 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 dilemma for this harbourside property was to achieve a Tuscan-style soft terracotta colour that did not appear washed-out and weak.

The dark green surrounding foliage colours set up a simultaneous contrast effect making the facade colour appear lighter and marginally desaturated.  To counteract this effect, a stronger terracotta specificed colour was required.

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

Due to the strong Australian sun, specified facade colours can appear marginally washed-out and desaturated, and this requires a slightly stronger, marginally deeper specified facade colour.

For more information or a quote, email zena@zenaoconnor.com.au


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