Form, texture and light are some of the important elements of architectural design for habitable spaces. There is one more element that has great potential to influence the ambience of a space as well as the mood of the occupants – colour.

President of the International Association of Color Consultants/Designers Frank H. Mahnke writes that the goal of colour design in architecture shouldn't just be decoration. He explains that colour is a sensory perception, and as any sensory perception, it has effects that are symbolic, associative, synesthetic, and emotional.

In the essay 'Approaches to colour in architecture and design: The discourse of Polychromy/Teaching colour today', Mette L’orange writes that architecture and interior design have been limited for decades by 'chromophobia' – a refusal to incorporate colours other than the natural hues of the materials used in a project.

However, things are changing for the better, believes L’orange, with new technology and materials driving renewed interest in the architectural use of colour.

Add colour with Locker Group's metal architectural products

There are several metal architectural products offered by Locker Group that can be used to add colour to a design. While using the natural tones of the materials is one option, Locker Group’s perforated and expanded metal sheets can be powder-coated in any preferred colour to match or contrast the palette in an architectural design.

‘The Icon’, an apartment building in St Kilda is a striking example of how Locker Group’s products can be used in a colour-focussed design with excellent outcomes. Designed by architects Jackson Clements Burrows and artist Matthew Johnson, the building appears as an uneven stack of blocks, each of which is in its own distinctive colour. The colour use continues into the interior of the building, giving each floor a unique feel.

The Icon is covered in expanded metal screens powder-coated in 40 different shades of colour to deliver a rich and eye-catching presence to the building. Locker Group's expanded metal screens serve a dual function in this application – as a visually stunning facade in addition to shielding the building’s inhabitants from heat and sunlight.

Speaking to The Contemporist, Matthew Johnson, the artist involved in the collaboration said that the colour choices represented the geographic and environmental settings of the building, showing the symbolic potential for colour choices in architecture.