Urban color (all exposed objects in urban public spaces are perceived externally...

Introduction to Urban Colors

Urban Colors

The sum of the perceived colors of all exposed objects in urban public spaces. It mainly includes natural environmental colors such as land and vegetation, humanistic colors such as common colors in life, and artificial colors such as buildings, advertisements, and vehicles.

Urban colors are composed of natural colors and artificial colors (or cultural colors). The bare land (including dirt roads), rocks, lawns, trees, rivers, seashores, and sky in the city all produce natural colors. All the buildings on the ground, hardened square pavements, vehicles, street facilities, pedestrian clothing, etc. in the city are all artificial products, and the generated artificial colors are all artificial colors. In the urban artificial color composition, according to the nature of the object, it can be divided into fixed color and flowing color, permanent color and temporary color. Various permanent public civil buildings, bridges, street squares, urban sculptures, etc. in the city constitute a fixed permanent color; while vehicles and other vehicles and pedestrian clothing in the city constitute a mobile color; urban advertisements, signs, street signs, newsstands, and street lights , Neon lights, shop windows, window sills, etc. constitute temporary colors. At the same time, because colors are produced by light refraction, the primary colors of various objects will change according to the surface texture of their materials, the degree of light exposure, and the impact of environmental colors. Therefore, urban colors can also be divided into single primary colors and visual effect colors. In the same yellow building, whether it is built near the sea, or standing on the back of the mountain, whether it exists independently, or whether it is built in the gap, the color effect is very different.

Therefore, urban color is a kind of systematic existence. For a complete urban color planning and design, all urban color components should be analyzed and planned in a unified manner to determine the main color system or the auxiliary color system. Then determine the permanent and inherent base colors of various buildings and other objects, and then determine the mobile colors including city advertisements and buses, and temporary colors including street decorations and window sill decorations. However, according to the current status of anomie in urban planning in China, this article mainly studies the fixed colors of urban buildings and the coordination of fixed colors and natural colors.

"Any city with good taste in the world has a simple, bright and harmonious color style, but many cities in China have lost themselves in the color." Zhou studied architecture in a college in Changsha. Shan believes that some builders arbitrarily determine the color of the building will only destroy the overall beauty of the city. Changsha, which is a city of mountains and rivers and has a profound cultural heritage, can add its own characteristics and charm through its bright urban colors.


The famous architect Sharinin has a famous saying: "Let me see the face of your city, and I can tell what culture this city is pursuing."

Each city brings different feelings to people with its different colors, shapes and characteristics.

A scholar pointed out that the gray walls, gray tiles, and green trees of old Beijing constitute the tone of Beijing’s urban colors, revealing the rich, simple, and peaceful cultural heritage of the ancient capital, as well as setting off the splendid imperial capital of the Forbidden City. style. The red tiles, red walls, blue sea and blue sky of the old city of Qingdao also fully demonstrate the elegance of this beautiful coastal city. The color of the city is integrated with the environment and formed over a long period of time. The most important thing is unity and harmony.

Internationally, some countries use the color season theory to design urban landscapes, and some cities have formulated plans for urban architectural colors. For example, the main color of Paris is beige, and the main color of London is The color is khaki. At the same time, many internationally influential urban color construction theories have been established abroad, such as the French color master Lang Crowe’s "color geography" on the construction of urban environmental colors, etc., which have contributed to urban color construction. .

In general, my country's urban color planning lags behind urban construction. Because there is no unified construction color standard and supervision and management, the color application in the construction field is rather chaotic, causing visual pollution problems in many buildings in our country, which has a negative impact on the shaping of the city's image. For example, random graffiti often appears on the streets; advertisers use intensely stimulating and intrusive contrasts to infinitely expand the area and quantity of advertisements, causing serious pollution to the human environment. Especially the light box advertisements at the entrance of the store have different shapes and weird colors, which not only destroys the color of the original building, but also causes serious color pollution. Therefore, it is urgent to explore new strategies for urban construction planning to better promote the healthy and stable development of urban construction in our country.

International Cases

Paris Urban Colors

Paris was once praised by Napoleon as "the most beautiful city in the world". The beauty of Paris is not only because it has the Louvre with countless art treasures, the solemn and holy Notre Dame, the majestic Arc de Triomphe, the luxurious and prosperous Champs Elysées shops, but also the attachment to these after countless years of baptism, and The color of the wall surface of the building that carries the accumulation of French culture and other urban elements.

The old city is dominated by old buildings of various periods with a history of over a thousand years. In terms of color planning and construction, whether it is historical monuments or ordinary houses, under the unified guidance of the urban color planning department, except for individual modern buildings, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Pompidou Center, the building walls are basically beautiful and beautiful. The elegant cheese color is painted, and the roof of the building and the Eiffel Tower are mainly painted in dark gray. For this reason, cheese and dark gray have become the iconic colors of Paris. This makes people know that they are in Paris as long as they see these two colors no matter where they go. The simple, clear and uniform colors also make Paris stand out and unique among the color constructions of many European cities.

The "romantic" Parisians appear so simple and unpretentious in the selection of the urban colors of Paris. Just like French writer Gide's comment on ancient Greek art: "Simple nobility, tranquil greatness".

From a geographical point of view, due to the influence of the temperate oceanic climate in Paris, it is rainy all year round, and there is little sunshine, so I don’t know any imaginative literati and ink guest who gave Paris a "love to tears." The nickname of "the woman", and the use of light-sensitive cheese color, can also see the "ingenuity" of the color planner.

The color of the city of Rome

Rome, the silent greatness and immortal honor. The old city of Rome, with orange-yellow and orange-red colors as the main colors, has well maintained the colors left over from history. The colors of these cities are like the afterglow of the ancient Roman Empire that taught future generations to worship. The glorious history of this city. The urban color of Rome is the color with the most historical thickness and charm.

The city color of Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, from the day it was born, is destined to be more than just the center of the Japanese state power, with exquisite palaces, temples and other buildings together with meticulous details. The elegant color style makes him like an art museum showing the original landscape of ancient Japanese cities. The use of native wood and stone materials as building materials gives Kyoto the natural and pleasant color tone of these materials. Coupled with the classic charm of traditional architectural styles, the urban landscape of Kyoto has reached the level of color, shape and material. A perfect unity that can be regarded as a model.

The color of the city of Jodhpur, India

Blue, the sky-like clarity, the sea-like deep tranquility, and the dream-like psychedelic, when a city only has one color Can give people so many reveries, I have to admire the magical pen and wonders of its builders. For some cities (especially small cities with distinctive personality) or regions that have obvious characteristics and uniform temperament and styles, simple but impressive color application techniques with rich changes are a good path for urban color planning.

Chinese characteristics


Complex colors based on gray tones

Beijing has set the urban architecture in 2000 The tone of "the facade is mainly composed of gray tones", not only reflects the unique temperament of the imperial city roots, but also embodies the magnificent momentum of the political and cultural center. Speaking of Beijing, do you think of the blue-gray courtyards and old hutongs? At the same time, Beijing will be affected by wind and sand from time to time, and the bright colors exposed to the outside will become old in five or six years and lose their original brightness.


The main color of Xuzhou’s city is "yellow gray elegant tone", and the two colors of "dragon yellow" and "sapphire green" are used as the city's representative colors.

"Longteng yellow", this color is the characteristic of Xuzhou as the hometown of emperors, dragon and yellow, both represent the emperor; "green jade", taken from the color of unearthed Hanyu, represents Xuzhou's long history The history and culture of Xuzhou can also cover the green mountains and clear waters of Xuzhou. Using "dragon yellow" and "sapphire green" as the representative colors of the city can give people the impression of simplicity, but stability, confidence, and maturity.

Xuzhou was called Pengcheng in ancient times. It has a history of more than 5,000 years of civilization and more than 2,600 years of building history. It is the earliest city in Jiangsu. When Xia Yu governed the waters, he divided the territory of the country into Kyushu, and Xuzhou was the famous historical and cultural city of Kyushu in China. It is located in the northwest of Jiangsu Province, adjacent to Shandong Province to the north, Anhui and Henan Provinces to the west, Lianyungang City to the east, and Suqian City to the south. Located in the transitional zone between the north and the south, it is the key to the north and the gateway to the south. It has always been a strategic place for military strategists and a gathering center for merchants. With a long culture, it is a well-known hometown of emperors. It is an important transportation and railway hub, energy base and industrial base in the country.

Xuzhou has a unique geographical environment. It not only has the beauty of the south of the Yangtze River, but also the unique natural resources of the northern city with four distinct seasons. At the same time, it is also a valuable historical asset. Therefore, when Ximan·CLIMAT conducts urban color planning for Xuzhou, the main planning and design ideas are to respect and continue the excellent local history, culture and landscape advantages, take "the beauty of the past and the present, the scenery and the landscape" as the leading direction, and the city of Xuzhou The overall plan is the goal. After in-depth field research and analysis and color refinement, it is concluded that "yellow and gray elegant tone" is the main color of Xuzhou, which highlights the regional characteristics of Xuzhou and highlights the beauty of mountains and rivers, which can better reflect the elegant and top-grade modern urban appearance.


With beige, yellow and white as the representative colors

Because of the influence of western architectural culture, Harbin’s historical buildings are especially warm in beige and yellow and white. Tones are many. The color plan of the city inherits the historical context. The overall color of the city is based on warm colors. Beige and yellow and white are the representative colors of urban architecture (strictly controlled in the historical protection districts and historical business districts). On this basis, adjust the color , Brightness, and saturation, let Harbin form a colorful, unified and harmonious urban architectural tone.

Harbin also delineated the "key color control area" and "color macro control area." The key control areas include 9 historical blocks and their affected areas, characteristic streets of the city, the surrounding areas of landmark buildings, and important urban functional areas. In the key color control areas, there is generally a clear urban color positioning; the color macro control area is the urban area In areas other than key control areas.


The overall tone is a fresh and elegant light tone

Wuxi is a water town in the south of the Yangtze River, so the plan determines the overall tone of the city as a fresh and elegant light tone. Under this premise, the colors of the existing residential houses and old houses will be unified into white walls and tiles to highlight the ancient charm of the south of the Yangtze River; the buildings in the downtown business district are light and warm to enhance the commercial atmosphere; Lihu New City is mainly white and light green , Giving a fresh "Taihu feeling". In addition, the colors of the buildings that originally have good appearance and do not affect the appearance of the city will remain unchanged in principle. For buildings that are seriously detrimental to the city's appearance and whose colors are inconsistent with the overall tone, the colors must be adjusted. Billboards, light boxes and other objects along the road are allowed to have rich colors, but they must also obey the main color.


Considering the local climate, choose composite gray

With composite gray as the main color of urban buildings, the overall tone is lighter and grayer, which is equivalent to "light makeup". This color collocation can reflect Chengdu's leisurely and eclectic urban character, and it is also in line with the taste of a historically famous city. The tone of the traditional houses in Western Sichuan is gray and black. Setting such a hue is also related to the local climate. Chengdu is located in a basin with heavy rain and no wind, which is easy to accumulate dust and rain. Chengdu began to dye the building facades in 2002, mainly in light colors, but the problem quickly appeared, and it was not dirty, especially in summer and winter. Chengdu was rainy and drizzle, which made the colored walls. Dirty, and it won't last for a few months. Many "flower houses" have appeared in the urban area.


Medium brightness, medium purity tones

Guangzhou’s special geographical environment, natural landscape, cultural connotation, and artificial environment determine the urban color of Guangzhou The combination and diversity of the color also determines that the main color of Guangzhou is not suitable for high-purity and low-brightness colors, and it is appropriate to use medium-brightness and medium-purity color types. According to the primary color spectrum of Guangzhou’s urban color spectrum just reviewed, the old urban area is mostly composed of achromatic, red-grey, yellow-red-grey and yellow-grey warm gray, and the new urban area is mostly composed of yellow-grey, blue-green-grey, blue-violet-grey and The main color of cold gray composed of achromatic series. Among them, yellow-gray is the most widely distributed, showing a warm tone in the main and auxiliary chromatograms in the old city, and a cold tone in the main and auxiliary chromatograms in the new city; yellow-gray can adapt to Guangzhou’s sunny, long summer and short winter climatic characteristics, resembling blooming flowers The natural environment of brocade complements each other, and it can also become the background color of vibrant and dynamic human activities; in addition, yellow-gray has a pleasant, relaxing and pleasant color character, humble, peaceful, and no exaggeration; more importantly, As the main architectural color, yellow-gray is suitable for both low-rise buildings in the old city and high-rise buildings in the new city.


Considering the overall gray color of the ancient city

In order to coordinate with the overall natural environment of the ancient city, while highlighting the distinctive regional characteristics, the Xi’an planning department will The main colors of Xi'an urban architecture are determined to be a color system dominated by gray, ochre, and ochre. In the future urban construction, these three main colors will become the main colors of Xi'an. The color system of the gray series: Xi'an, as the ancient capital of China's thirteen dynasties, has many historical buildings. Among these buildings, gray accounts for a large proportion, such as the bell tower, the drum tower, the traditional houses of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and the city walls of Xi'an. Gray reflects a strong cultural atmosphere and is in line with the characteristics of the ancient capital of Xi'an. In the future, the urban construction of Xi'an will use gray as the main color in historical areas.

The color system of the earthy yellow series: Xi’an is located on the yellow land in the center of the Yellow River civilization. The earthy yellow is consistent with the landform, which makes people feel peaceful and stable. It is the typical local color of Guanzhong, the big wild goose pagoda and the small wild goose. The wall of the tower is khaki. The main hue of urban buildings is ochre, and the hue series can be expanded to make the color from deep to light. The color system of the ocher series: ocher is the main color of the woodwork of Han and Tang architecture, forming the solemn, elegant and vivid architectural color of Han and Tang architecture. The main color of Xi'an's urban architecture is set as ochre, which expresses respect for traditional ancient buildings and can also reflect the rich historical and cultural atmosphere of the ancient capital of Xi'an.


A scroll of Jiangnan ink painting

2005-2006, commissioned by the Hangzhou Municipal Planning Bureau, Vice President of China Academy of Art, Institute of Color Research Professor Song Jianming, a doctoral supervisor, led his professional color team, traveled all over Hangzhou, took nearly 30,000 photos of architectural colors, and conducted a special study on Hangzhou’s architectural colors in an area of ​​80 square kilometers surrounding West Lake. The ideal vision of "ink and light color" belonging to the city of Hangzhou has been praised and recognized by experts and the general public. From 2008 to 2010, under the continuous promotion and organization of Hangzhou City Planning Bureau, it lasted for two years. Ni Liang, director of the Color Research Office of Hangzhou Urban Planning and Design Institute and senior planner, led the color experts in the institute to jointly develop and complete the "Hangzhou "Special Planning for Building Color in the Main Urban Area" and "Administrative Regulations on the Color of Urban Buildings in Hangzhou". In the end, the Hangzhou color was fixed as "a roll of Jiangnan ink painting". Among them, gray, which incorporates Hangzhou's color context, has become a color that can reflect the weight of Hangzhou.

Composed of blue-gray, gray-green, green, etc., the "harmonious colors" with a touch of ink and wash in the south of the Yangtze River-the "Hangzhou Urban Color Planning Research" just completed by the China Academy of Art commissioned by the Hangzhou Municipal Planning Bureau, Become the main color of Hangzhou after color planning. It is reported that after collecting more than 18,000 architectural tone photos in the main urban area for comparison and analysis, this finally provided this coordinated and coordinated selection of colors suitable for the urban architecture of Hangzhou.

The roof is greenish-grey, reddish-brown; the walls are grayish-blue, gray-green, achromatic, red-brown, and tan; the other decorative parts of the building are greenish, blue, achromatic, and red Brown, warm yellow. Experts believe that this kind of color combination has a strong overall sense and at the same time can get along with each other in harmony. The overall visual impression is fused, and it can also reflect the sense of history of the ancient capital of a thousand years.


Two colors in the two districts

[Huangcuo] uses warm gray and low-chroma red

The plan points out that the overall tone of the Huangcuo area aims to create a harmonious waterfront and mountainous space. Gray and low-chroma red are the main colors.

In terms of architectural color, it is recommended to use low-chroma brick red for the roof, white and warm gray for the main color of the wall, and white, wood, brick, or stone for the decoration color. The glass is not reflective or reflective. Low reflection, colorless or light-colored (key buildings, large public buildings, landmark buildings and other buildings with special requirements need to break through the above roof form restrictions, which can be handled on a case-by-case basis and subject to specific procedures for approval). However, it is forbidden to use any color other than low-chroma brick red on the roof, and avoid large areas of high-chroma, low-brightness colors, such as large areas of bright pure colors, strong dark colors, and cool gray tones.

In terms of roof form, the recommended roof forms are double slope top, four slope top, multi-fold double slope, multi-fold four slope, combined slope top; avoid using typical representative style building roofs, Single slope roof, poorly shaped slope roof (key buildings, large public buildings, landmark buildings and other buildings with special requirements, which need to break through the above roof form restrictions, can be handled on a case-by-case basis, subject to specific procedures for approval).

[Wuyuanwan] is divided into gray tone zone and southern Fujian color zone

The overall tone of Wuyuanwan area is aimed at creating a harmoniously colored new city space. The light gray tone is in harmony with the background. The main body is prominent. According to the plan, the whole area of ​​Wuyuan Bay is divided into two types of color control areas, the gray tone area and the southern Fujian color area.

In terms of architectural color, it is recommended that the facade color of the low-rise residential building adopts the main color of light gray (neutral gray, warm gray), and the embellishment color is medium and low chroma, and the main wall is not Reflective; It is recommended to have multiple layers of light gray (neutral gray, warm gray) as the main color, with medium lightness and low chroma, the main wall is not reflective, the glass is not reflective or low reflective, colorless or light color, gray or brick Red sloping roof; it is recommended that the main color of the high-rise building is light gray (high brightness, low saturation, neutral color), and the dotted color is medium gray and cool gray, and the main wall is not reflective. The glass is non-reflective or low-reflective, colorless or light gray. However, residential buildings should avoid using large areas of high chroma, low brightness colors, such as bright pure colors, strong dark colors, and avoid large areas of reflective glass and dark glass (key buildings, large public buildings, landmark buildings and other buildings with special requirements, need Breaking through the above roof form restrictions can be handled on a case-by-case basis, subject to specific procedures for approval).

In terms of roof form, it is recommended that residential buildings use gray or brick red sloped roofs, high-rise buildings have simple roofs, and southern Fujian color areas have brick red sloped roofs; other buildings are recommended to adopt sloped roofs, simple flat roofs, and simple Combined roof. However, low-rise buildings are forbidden to use complex composite roofs, poorly shaped roofs, rough reconstructed roofs, and typical roofs; multi-storey buildings are forbidden to use single slope roofs, copy representative roofs of other regions, and false slope roofs; high-rise buildings are forbidden to use coarse reconstructed roofs. Unique roofs such as domes and spires, and large floating slab roofs.

Color Pollution

One of the most serious problems in China's urban construction is that there is no unified planning for urban colors, which causes color pollution.

Experts say that in fact, color itself has no distinction between beauty and ugliness. The main problem of urban color is not the color itself. The key is urban planning. Since the 1980s, in the process of ultra-high-speed development and expansion of Chinese cities, due to the out-of-control planning, the general lack of aesthetic and cultural cultivation and the neglect of urban colors, a certain kind of "prosperity, ostentation, comparison, and competition" has been caused. "Nouveau riche" cultural or aesthetic interest has spread in large and medium-sized cities.

Due to the lack of strict control over the volume, height, style, quality, and environmental coordination of new buildings, many super-large and super high-rise buildings have risen from the ground. The pseudo-classical style is modern and post-modern. The style buildings stand side by side, all of which have caused fatal and hard-to-heal injuries to the city's outlook.

Therefore, the construction of urban colors is truly included in the urban planning, and the application of colors is regulated through public color legislation, so that there are rules to follow, laws to follow, and management according to law. This is what we need to solve primary issue.

Planning and design

It is a unified analysis and planning of all urban color components, determining the main and auxiliary colors and dotted color systems, and determining the permanent and inherent benchmarks of various buildings and other objects Colors, and then determine the temporary colors including city advertisements and public transportation vehicles and other mobile colors, street decorations and other temporary colors.

The main hue

It is not a color, but a hue or color system within a certain range of brightness and purity. The main hue must occupy 75% of the city in order to be dominant The role of color, auxiliary color can account for 20%, and embellishment color only accounts for 5%, in order to form a stable and overall color environment.

Urban color is the overall architectural color of a city. Urban color planning and design is not only to determine a hue for the color of a city, but also to highlight the natural beauty of the city and the harmony with the natural environment, to a certain extent The above can reflect the historical context of the city, and use colors to identify the function of the city and urban area.

The principle of natural beauty.

Human color beauty comes from its historical process of "natural being born into man" and from nature's edification of man. For humans, natural primary colors are easy to accept, even the most beautiful. Therefore, the colors of the city can never compete with nature for beauty. Instead, try to protect and highlight the natural colors, especially the natural colors of trees, grasslands, rivers, seas, and even rocks. Guilin's urban construction is based on the Guilin landscape as the main background color. The building adopts the Hui architectural style and color, which not only reflects the respect for the natural landscape, but also integrates it into the landscape.

The principle of harmony with the natural environment.

Harmony is the core principle of the use of color, as well as the core principle of urban color. Harmony requires the unity or coordination of urban colors in changes and differences. The coordination of urban colors includes two aspects. One is the coordination of artificial colors and natural colors or the colors of the urban natural environment; the other is the coordination of artificial colors and natural colors or the colors of the urban architectural environment. The color of the city must first be coordinated with the color of the natural environment. For example, Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan and Wuyi Mountain in Fujian, as tourist cities, have bright colors, giving tourists a vivid impression, and playing a good effect of "a little red among the green bushes". Or in winter, the snow-capped Harbin has a dark red hue, and it is easier to find a balance. Or Qingdao, Weihai and other coastal cities, "red tiles, green trees, blue sea and blue sky", red is an artificial color, bright and bright can serve as a navigation mark for voyage ships, the rest are all natural colors, the natural colors are used ingeniously to achieve artificial colors and Harmony and unity of natural colors.

Continue the principle of urban historical context.

Once the urban color is formed by historical accumulation, it becomes the carrier of urban culture, and it continues to tell the history and culture of the city. Therefore, for historical and cultural cities or ancient cities, in order to continue the historical context, the city should try to maintain its traditional colors to show the authenticity of its history and culture. If the original style of the city has been destroyed, at least the surrounding buildings of historical buildings and cultural monuments must have the same color tone as the ancient buildings. Since August 2009, the city of Xi’an has adopted the main colors of the blue bricks and red pillars of Chang’an City in the Tang Dynasty to rejuvenate the style of the Tang Dynasty during the renovation of the buildings inside the city wall. It is a continuation of the context of this historical city.

The principle of urban function differentiation.

Just as the color of the clothing of hospital staff distinguishes different jobs, the color of the city should obey the function of the city. This contains two meanings: one refers to the overall function of the city; the other refers to the district function of the city. The color of a commercial city and a tourist city should naturally be different, and the color principles of a large city and a small city should also be different. For a large commercial city like Hong Kong, the color of the city is subordinate to the commercial purpose, even if the color is a little messy, people can tolerate it. But for a historical and cultural city like Xi'an, if the city's color is chaotic, it will damage the image of the city. In terms of the division of urban areas, urban administrative centers are generally more dignified, and the colors should be cooler; the colors of commercial areas can be more lively and more commercial, and the colors can be bold and warm; the colors of residential areas should be simple and elegant Some can be a softer composite color system; the colors of tourist areas should emphasize harmony and pleasing to the eye. These principles are the general principles of urban color planning, such as the use of appropriate color methods to separate residential quarters from commercial blocks.


★The organizer will distribute questionnaires about the main colors of the city, consult experts and public opinions; collect online feedback information. Then, experts from all parties are invited to make suggestions for beautifying the urban color environment of Guangzhou, and organize expert review; after that, the public will be asked again to complete the review of this research; finally, the urban color will be incorporated into the urban planning management.

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