High rise, high colour

Highrises don’t have to get lost in the grey concrete jungle: some are a real riot of colour, with vivid facades in scarlet, turquoise or canary yellow – or even combining all the colours of the rainbow. Facades such as these break the drabness of so many concrete tower blocks, and their creative designs stimulate the imagination. A list of the world’s most colourful highrises has now been compiled by Emporis (http://www.emporis.com/), the international provider of building data.

In the case of Colorium, probably the best-known building in Düsseldorf’s Medienhafen (“Media Harbor”), the name says it all: the building’s exceptional aluminum ribbon window facade, consisting of over 2,200 panels of glass, was screen-printed with 17 different geometric patterns of single or up to four colours. The top floor juts out well over the harbour basin and particularly catches the eye with its signal-red coloring and nighttime illumination.

The positively idyllic-seeming First World Hotel in Genting, Malaysia, radiates joie-de-vivre, fun and – not least – rest and recuperation from humdrum routine from every inch of its luminous bright facade. It is hardly surprising, then, that the almost five-hectare First World Plaza in and around the hotel complex has a comprehensive range of entertainments on offer, including an amusement park, casino, theater stage and further attractions.

The shimmering copper-colored facade of Mercury City in Moscow, on the other hand, might not be able to compete with the fascinating play of colours at the First World Hotel, but, with its imposing and noble visual appearance, succeeds in demonstrating that a brilliant show is perfectly possible with just the one colour. The skyscraper, which measures just under 339 metres, stands out on the skyline of the Russian capital and also impresses through its environmental friendliness and sustainability.

Colourful buildings do not just provide a welcome change from uniform-appearance blocks: bright colours also have a positive effect on the mood and on the memory and reaction times of those looking at them, as researchers at the University of Essex in England have recently discovered. Particularly during the cold time of year, when the weather is often grey, radiant colours in a vibrant cityscape can indeed help to drive away the winter blues.


About Emporis Emporis is a leading database of information about building and construction projects, based in Germany. For over a decade Emporis has helped companies, organizations and individuals stay informed about the building industry. The Emporis Skyscraper Award is the world’s most renowned prize for highrise architecture.