New joyful architecture in London


An attempt to bring “joyous vibrancy” to the city is how Renzo Piano describes his plan to cloak the facades of the new Central Saint Giles development with brightly colored ceramic cladding. He says:

The colour idea came from observing the sudden surprise given by brilliant colours in that part of the city. Cities should not be boring or repetitive. One of the reasons cities are so beautiful and a great idea, is that they are full of surprises, the idea of colour represents a joyful surprise.

Against the muted, often grey backdrop of the London cityscape, I think it would be a joy to walk around the corner and be surprised by the delicious glossiness of red or yellow glazed ceramic. They have the rich sensory appeal of the ripe-apple red double-decker buses or the mailboxes or the Beefeater uniforms. The yellow is like a bright umbrella or a pair of wellies in a storm. These oases of color are arguably more important in London life because of the climate. It will be interesting to see public response to these when they are up.

Thanks Maggie for the tip!

More info and images here.

Hey, Guess What?

The Aesthetics of Joy is now a book! Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness is now available.

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