Building in ColourHarness the endless possibilities of colour & texture with Sto's range of materials
Material, texture, sheen, colour and light are inseparable - the identity of a building becomes clear through an architect's choices in how these come together. Considered through the lifecycle of a building from design, occupation and legacy, we understand that achieving the right expression is tantamount to the success of a building. Sto's innovative materials and data driven colour system compliment design ambitions with technical knowledge and rigorous testing, to offer possibilities, accuracy and longevity when 'building in colour'.
[Watch this video with subtitles on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/stogroup/building-in-colour]
Produced by Sto ‘Building in Colour’ is a cinematic exploration into the role of materials and colour in architecture, taking the work of Stirling Prize winning architect Michael Wilford CBE (1938–2023) as it's starting point.
"The reason for introducing colour is actually to bring another dimension. To bring joy, delight, pleasure and to celebrate the fact that there are certain materials that can be coloured as distinct from the use of more natural materials"– Michael Wilford (2010)
Michael Wilford's flare for using vibrant hues to stimulate and engage, while also harnessing new possibilities of material production, were articulated in the design of Sto's iconic campus nestled at the foot of the Black Forest in Germany. (Obituary: Michael Wilford, the architect who shaped Sto)
With pride and celebration, Sto share with the architecture community how this collaboration with Wilford in the 1990s came to embody Sto as a brand and lay the foundations for future generations of architects to be inspired and innovate with materials and colour.
Inspirational, poignant and at moments divisive, 'Building in Colour' takes us through the processes, pitfalls and considerations architects face when designing with colour. Through conversations with colleagues of James Stirling and Michael Wilford; Chris Dyson (Founder, Chris Dyson Architects) and Manuel Schupp (Founder, Orange Blu) we gain insights into how colour was used in their studios. While designer Adam Nathaniel Furman shares the ways seeing the British Embassy in Berlin (Wilford Schupp Architekten, 1994-2000) affirmed his own desires to use colour as an important tool within the design process, exploring cultural affinities with specific hues or palettes.
"We wanted the audience to experience Wilford's buildings, as if they were quietly walking around them sharing the same curious eye we had on our first encounter. We are always moving, discovering how light reflects on surfaces, how colours interact from one space to another. It doesn't take long to start recognising Wilford's color palette and the playfulness and complexity of his work." - Alberto Balazs, Cinematographer 'Building in Colour' 2023
How the sensuality and experiential qualities of materials and colours come together with the environmental conditions of a building, are captured in the award-winning cinematography of Alberto Balazs and discussed in practice by Richard Bryant, former photographer for James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates.
Alongside Sto’s own headquarters, 'Building in Colour' features newly shot footage of some of James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Manuel Schupp's most famous buildings including the Stirling Prize winning State Music School in Stuttgart (1992-96), The Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart (1984), the Clore Gallery extension to Tate Britain, London (1985) and most recently completed Baden-Wurttemberg History Museum, Stuttgart (2003).
For an architect's design intentions in colour to be realised fully, the technical proficiency and accuracy of colour formulation are paramount. In 'Building in Colour' Sto lifts the lid on its colour laboratories and tinting technologies. Behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with colourimetry experts at Sto share how data has driven the formulation of the 1,400 hues in the updated StoColor System.
"If you want to speak to an audience, if you want to create a sense of local identity, just like a country needs a flag. You kind of do need to start thinking about incorporating colour in a conscious way." - Adam Nathaniel Furman 'Building in Colour' 2023
Often only discussed until it is seen as divisive, 'Building in Colour' is a provocation to consider the nuances of material and colour choices, from design to occupation and legacy.
'Building in Colour' features interviews with:
Architect, Founder Chris Dyson Architects
Associate at Michael Wilford and Partners (1992-2000)
Adam Nathaniel Furman
Artist & Designer, Founder atelierANF
Architect, Founder ORANGE BLU building solutions GmbH & Co. KG
Former Managing Partner, Wilford Schupp Architekten GmbH (1986-2001)
CEO of Sto Group (1988-2015), Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sto Management SE
Colour Laboratory Technician, Sto SE & Co. KGaA
Former photographer for James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates
Exhibition @ Sto Werkstatt, London - Michael Wilford: A Legacy in Colour
Through the lens of award-winning photographer Richard Bryant and the newly commissioned short documentary ‘Building in Colour’, this exhibition celebrates the legacy of Stirling Prize winner Michael Wilford CBE (1938 – 2023) and is a provocation for the future possibilities of materials and colour in architecture.
18-22 Sep 2023, 10:00-17:00
153 -157 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7HD (map)
Entry is free and bookings are not required.
Explore the endless possibilities
Developed at Sto's innovation, research & development centre in Germany, the new coordinate-based StoColor System delivers a whole host of composition options for architecture and interior design. The 1,400 shades cover 72 colour areas, as well as 24 natural white nuances, 6 black tones, and a series of 48 graduations of greys.
Playing with hues and shades, designing colour with intention
Our wide range of materials includes fade-resistant through-coloured render, modular glass panels, ceramic tiles and cladding to provide you with an inspiring, comprehensive and versatile toolkit for your creative ambitions. The juxtaposition of these surfaces while using the same substrate allows for the easy implementation of design ideas.
Products and systems vary from location to location due to local building regulations and standards. We strongly advise you to make contact. Your local expert will be happy to advise you on locally available products and systems.