WAN Colour in Architecture Award 2015 Winner Announced

Nick Myall
Tuesday 15 Mar 2016

Fortunen AS claim the title for this year’s Colour Award

The WAN Colour in Architecture Award recognises the use of colour in architecture whether it be applied colour, LED lighting systems, using colour within a structure or materials such as metal or glass to enrich architecture, enabling it to communicate with its users and environment. 

The six outstanding shortlisted projects, showcased a fantastic selection of the use of colour to express identity, wayfinding, to stand out or just to enhance and complement the typology. After some lengthy discussions, it was unanimously decided that Fortunen AS would be awarded as the winners for 2015 – Congratulations!

The established panel involved in this category were; Jack Carter Associate, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Stephen Light Partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Morag Morrison Partner, HawkinsBrown and Stefan Rappold Partner, Behnisch Architekten. 

Bønsmoen Primary School is located within a small housing community in Norway and was an existing school from the 1960’s. The renovation involved exposing and transforming the existing structure and adding a new building. The former structure was strict and rational, but had redeeming space qualities. The aim was to create a tight integration of different functional areas with clear and flexible usability. Entrances to the different age group areas were decentralised, and clearly readable entrances were introduced to tie together the indoor and outdoor areas. Stefan expressed his views on this mentioning, “The interior and exterior works well together. I have the feeling that these guys had a broader view and conceptual image of the building.”

The different age group areas were also selected using different colours and repeating these within the interiors. Each class has their own "group of colours” and the use of colour has a meaning. The chosen colours purpose is to give an existing visual play, as well as the colours working as an organising and identification tool. Colours are also used as leading elements for the disabled. Fortunen AS believe that movement stimulates learning, such as wandering, climbing, playing etc. Moving through an environment, not only to promote physical form, but also to create visual experiences with colours. Morag liked their concept and had the jury agreeing with her comments by saying, “I really like this design. I think that the colour is very well thought through for the children. Using colour for children to relate to, the play and learning thing I think is very clever. This is what you think of as colour in architecture.” Inside, the age areas are subdivided by fixed furniture elements such as kitchens, group spaces and podiums, which are also used as performance stages and rest areas. All colours have a warm palette, and used so the colour elements appear as a whole in a more general landscape.

Fortunen AS believe that the quality of life is closely connected to the communication between humans and their surroundings, which equates to having inspiring spaces, cheerful colours, living materials and a good environment which is of the greatest importance to create this quality of life. They believe that the Nordic light, darkness and the almost black and white winter scenes, require for an extensive use of colours in their environment. Morag concluded, “They have seen the colour design all the way through, and it is very strong. They have stuck to the concept and executed it well.”

WAN AWARDS would like to congratulate Fortunen AS for winning this year’s Colour in Architecture Award 2015. We would also like to thank all those who entered, along with our respected jury panel for their experience and sincere discussion on all projects.


Christina Ingram

Awards Coordinator

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