Culture & architecture

Through its polysensoriality, colour is an impression and sensation, an immediate expression of a feeling. It is fragrance, music, touch, taste and memory all at the same time. It is also a journey, a story, humour and emotion when it becomes a decoration, animation, action, movement and rhythm. This is the work of graphic design in architecture both on facades and interior decoration – bringing an additional touch when the graphic design, the visual identity, the decorations and designs, once they are placed on the construction, take in turn, after colour, to the floor to sing their short accompanying music to each architectural project. On facades, graphic design is an added value which is always subtle, complementary, charming and delightful… After a long period of time when there was a loss of interest in the approach due to experimental and even hazardous graphic attempts, decoration design is once again the flavour of the month in architecture probably driven by nostalgia, the appeal of vintage and an entertaining use of facades.


2. Marine infant & primary school, Colombes

Marine infant & primary school, Colombes

En collaboration avec le cabinet Dominique Coulon de Strasbourg, A3DC retravaille et valide pour la mairie de Colombes le plan de coloration et d’animation graphique du projet de construction du groupe scolaire Marine, à la fois centre de loisirs et d’animations sportives et éducatives, un projet bâti sur un ancien terrain militaire réhabilité en plein centre-ville. A la révolution d’un quartier en profonde mutation urbanistique répondent une volonté de coloration exceptionnelle des façades et un désir de graphismes forts et visibles, donnant personnalité et déstructuration au bâtiment. Un système de lignes colorées obliques est retenu, à cheval sur les surfaces horizontales et verticales, griffant sols et murs, cassant les perspectives et sans raccord avec les fuyantes depuis les différentes vues des façades construites. Ce système graphique associé à la couleur est retenu pour la déstabilisation de la structure, l’allongement des lignes de fuite, la perception déformée et étonnante d’un bâtiment détonnant,aux tonalités dominantes de rose.


4. Lyon-Confluence


The Confluence in Lyon is an experimental area, a showcase for modern architecture. For Unibail, the firm of architects Jean-Paul Viguier & Associés, which was in charge of creating a multi-hub covering 60,000 sq. m including shops, leisure activities and hotels, asked A3DC to work on the colour and graphic design of the building. Serving a UGC complex, a shopping centre and an Accor hotel, the car park is an essential central building. One hundred and fifty metres long and fourteen metres high, the monumental grandeur of the façade of this silo-car park which needed to be brought to life and unified by colours did not allow for a narrative or illustrative decoration. Under a second skin of vertical polycarbonate strips which were chosen by the architects, A3DC suggested bringing the building to life by means of splashes of warm colours in the form of a random pixellization. The frequency and importance of the colour decrease as the hotel moves away as it is intended to remain in a calmer area. As the second skin allows for an opaque, translucent and transparent perception of the colour, the graphic design gains in richness and depth… even more so as sophisticated lighting brings the building to life at night.

5. Hyundai Hill State

This vast property design programme was intended by the sponsors to be a general construction guide for Hyundai, a major promoter in Korea, including a catalogue of facade colourings for housing projects. This reference book includes work on colour ranges, graphic design of facades and entrances, signposting and colour coding, the creation of outdoor furniture and lighting poles, and landscaping. A wealth of information on western property design in the form of a book full of practical and operation solutions which can be adapted to the size of various Korean property projects.

6. In-ha hospital, Seoul

The In-ha hospital in Seoul is an international university hospital with 804 beds on 16 floors. It is situated at a stone’s throw of the Incheon airport. Opened in 1996, an overall colouring concept was applied to the building to create colour areas within the interior layout. The design of a colour distribution scheme created comparable zones: reception, administration, shared areas, patients’ rooms, operating theatres… which were linked by a functional personalisation of the signs. Open to the world, it has been influenced by western design from its outset, in particular by the impact of the colours and decorations that were designed by the French team of A3DC.

7. Port-Barcarès

How does one go about drawing attention to the buildings of the Gondolys shipyard on a very flat, coastline horizon in a fun, easily recognisable, spectacular and technical manner? A disproportionate super lettering which plays both on the letterpress and colour – a sign which disregards the usual sizes is used to bring the facades of a long industrial building to life. Similar examples can be seen at the Beaubourg Centre when colour-design makes a remarkable entrance in the permanent collections for an official recognition of the profession of industrial colourist.

8. La Haye aux Moines, Créteil

The colour, which is represented in long diagonal stripes, breaks with the traditional volumes of the modular architecture of multi-dwelling buildings, making one forget the bars and towers. The graphic design on the facades of these large-scale social housing complexes, at the request of the C.A.U.E. of Créteil, plays with the light and the different times of the day, like the drop shadow which is reflected on the angles of the facades. An experience of colour in architecture which is quoted in the exhibition “Colour harmonies” at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, the City of Paris centre for information, documentation and urban and architectural exhibitions …

9. Marzet clinic, Pau

Marzet clinic, Pau

The overall colour project of a vast, new health centre hub in Béziers included the graphic design and creation of interior coloured ambiances for the Marzet healthcare clinic (lobby, rooms, common areas, restaurant…). An exemplary piece of work at the initiative of Icade-Sethri-Setae which makes the hospital lobby look less dramatic and provides a genuine visual comfort for this type of medical infrastructure, whose ambiance is personalised, humanised, made easier and pleasant thanks to a soft and undulating wave on the floor.


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