Sublime Color / by Michelle Linden

Color it seems, is the one aspect of design that can actually frighten architects. Just look at the shades of grey and black we all wear to work. Even I must admit, that putting together a multi-colored project is a difficult and intimidating feat. I wish that there had been more attention put towards color theory in my design education. It often seems that as a reaction to this lack of color education, when architects take a chance with color they often only see two options regarding the use of color; select one very bold statement color (such as the dutch favorites orange and lime green) or an assortment of rainbow brights is used (see my previous post).

This award winning project however, is a wonderful example of two architects embracing color. Johnsen Schmaling Architects have created a lovely 'camouflage house' deep in the woods of Wisconsin. Using panels of glass, prodema (a wood veneer with varying hues), and cedar, they have managed to created a layering of color that mimics the natural landscape. Using the bark patterns and changing colors of the leaves as inspiration, the house's muted hues are a superb reflection of the changing hues of the Wisconsin woods. Rather than shy away from color or making a bold (or sometimes obscene) statement with color, this project uses a wide range of hues in a restrained manner, ultimately creating a spectacular project.

Its a perfect wooded retreat, a home that truly forces you to escape city life by offering a structure that could only exist in the woods.