THE DARK SIDE

the-backcountry-hut-company-leckie-studio-architecture_dezeen_sqWhat’s with all the black houses that have appeared in recent years? The all-black exteriors—blackened timber, black stain, or simple black paint—have become ubiquitous. Rural or urban, even old buildings are getting black-faced. Traditionally, architects avoided black facades, which not only look lugubrious but virtually eliminate shadows, which are—or were—one of the architect’s most effective tools. Modern houses tend not to have moldings and relief work, of course, so there are no shadows. And black does seem to be the modernist architect’s favorite fashion shade (Richard Rogers excepted). But fundamentally I think this phenomenon is a symptom of laziness—it’s a cheap way of standing out. Slap on a coat of Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty and even the most pedestrian design looks striking.

2 Responses to THE DARK SIDE

  • Lloyd Alter says:

    They have forgotten why houses used to be black; in St. John’s Newfoundland, every house was black because of coal soot. When they got gas in the sixties and cleaned them up, they started painting them in all kinds of colours so that now everyone thinks that was traditional.

  • Marvin L McConoughey says:

    I like white with an occasional beige or blue. Common colors look familiar and comfortable even if they are not avant garde.

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