Lively colour facade gives Fish Market the edge

by Tania Wannenburg
Lively colour

“An excellent example of how to use colour in architecture in a considerate and contextually relevant way.”


Unanimously voted as the winner of the Colour in Architecture category in the WAN Awards programme, the Fish Market in Bergen, designed by Eder Biesel Arkitekter AS, impressed judges with its use of material and colour that makes the building integrate seamlessly in the local context.

The building was constructed in the historic centre of Bergen, Norway, and includes a tourist information centre where people meet and interact. The lively facade was designed to incorporate the tones of the surrounding area: dark red, brown, white and ochre, applied to reflect the rhythm of the region.

Awards manager, Faye Chalmers, described this project as an excellent example of how to use colour in architecture in a considerate and contextually relevant way. She said the overall feeling was that the intelligent use of colour alongside the clear integration with context and community made this project the clear winner.

“The modern look and feel of this building have not distracted from its historical surroundings, and that has proved to make this the favourite of a very colourful bunch,” she said.

According to the award entry, the design concept aimed to create an undivided space for the market place and hall, and at the same time preserve the view from the common land roads to the sea, as well as to the landmarks in the area.

The flexible, transparent glass facade on the ground floor enables an unlimited panoramic outlook, provides shelter against the weather and can be opened on warm summer days.

Granite was used as pavement material to reference the historic material of the market place. The historic edge of the pier as well as the names of the initial proprietors are visible as wooden lines on the floor, creating a network of paths.

“We aim to collate the best selection of contemporary projects from around the world to highlight what can be achieved with both discrete and bold use of colour,” Chalmers adds.

The other five shortlisted projects were:
• Da Ya Kindergarten in Taiwan by JM Lin Architects.
• A Glowing Lantern for “Little India” in Singapore by Robert Greg Shand Architects + URBNarc Pte Ltd.
• American Express Offices in Brighton, United Kingdom, by EPR Architects.
• The Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Seattle by Olson Kundig Architects.
• The National Stadium in Warsaw by Lichtvision.

The competition organisers expect this category to become one of the most exciting sectors, since they believe that the use of colour in the built environment will become increasingly important and central to the way cities evolve in the next few decades, especially with new innovations in surface coating and LED facades.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to worldarchitecturenews.com for the information given to write this article.

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