Get Happy: A Gallery of Colorful Modern Buildings

Get Happy: A Gallery of Colorful Modern Buildings

98cac5b8824ffa9dfec076061c9bc13f5981f2d1?w=240&h=240&fit=crop
Nancy Mitchell
Apr 25, 2015
(Image credit: Dezeen)

When you think of modern architecture, you may think of a sleek, white building, or maybe a sleek white building with grey accents so light they might as well be white. But color and modern architecture can co-exist in the same universe, and even in the same building, as these eight examples prove. Warning: serious color-induced euphoria ahead.

(Image credit: Dezeen)

Here in America, bank buildings are boring. Banks want to impress us with their permanence and stability, so they are all one color and all have columned porticoes that look like the Parthenon. But in Japan, banks (or at least these banks) want to be seen as friendly. Approachable. Fun, even. These buildings, design for Sugamo Shinkin by Emmanuelle Moureaux, prominently feature happymaking rainbow colors. The Nakaaoki branch, spotted on Dezeen, even incorporates plants into the facade.

(Image credit: Arch Daily)
(Image credit: Arch Daily)
(Image credit: Arch Daily)

This is the Shimura branch, spotted on Arch Daily. If a banked here I would spend all day looking at those gorgeous rainbow-colored awnings and never go inside.

(Image credit: Architizer)
(Image credit: Architizer)

The Tokiwadai branch, spotted on Architizer, is like an especially colorful piece of Swiss cheese.

(Image credit: Arch Daily)
(Image credit: Arch Daily)
(Image credit: Arch Daily)

This is a kindergarten in Slovenia, spotted on Arch Daily. Students can spin the panels that make up the facade, Vanna White style, and create all kinds of colorful compositions.

(Image credit: The Saguaro)
(Image credit: The Saguaro)

This rainbow-colored hotel is the Saguaro Palm Springs, spotted on A Cup of Jo. The combination of all those bright colors is just beautiful, and having Palm Springs as a backdrop doesn't hurt, either.

(Image credit: We Heart)
(Image credit: We Heart)
(Image credit: We Heart)

How clever is it to use color to elevate a parking garage? Parking garages are usually dull and bland, but this one, spotted on We Heart, is a cheerful psychedelic wonderland.

(Image credit: Yellowtrace)
(Image credit: Yellowtrace)
(Image credit: Yellowtrace)

Colored windows in this Spanish kindergarten, designed by Alejandro Muñoz Miranda and spotted on Yellowtrace, cast changing patterns of color into the hallways throughout the day.

(Image credit: Yellowtrace)

Les appearances deceive you, you should know that this colorful edifice is a Biochemistry building at Oxford, designed by architects Hawkins/Brown (and spotted on Yellowtrace). It's proof that colorful exteriors don't just work on kindergartens and Japanese banks — they can be embraced by practically anymore.

Created with Sketch.