Monday, April 27, 2009

Finding Color in a Parking Garage

Every once in a while you find an example of architectural color that goes beyond the blah beigeness of contemporary design. This time, it’s a Public Art project in Fort Worth, Texas.

The parking garage for the Fort Worth Convention Center, designed by Christopher Janney, is a multilevel, multihued structure that changes colors. The building’s facade is enlivened by five colored glass “fins” that cast colorful shadows by day, allowing the sunlight to “paint” the building surface. The garage also features environmental sounds native to this area. As reporter Michael Price noted, “Not only does ‘Parking in Color’ fulfill a practical requirement of the need for automobile parking at the southern reaches of the Central Business District – it does so, as well, in a way that enlivens the purely functional act of stowing one’s car with a sense of playful adventure.”

See: ‘Parking in Color’ project signals a leap for Public Art

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is Black Green?

Black was the center of two disputes about its eco-friendliness. In one black was perhaps good; in the other, bad. You can be the color judge.

Good Black

The first case was Google’s "Blackle" - an alternative to Google's white page - that would save 3000MWh per year. Others claimed that "While it may be true that a CRT monitor uses 15 watts less with the black screen, only 25% of the world's monitors are CRT." Some others put this to a test of 27 monitors ("The Final Test") and found that LCD monitors with a size 22-inches or less, all showed an increase in power consumption using Blackle. Beyond the 22-inch mark however, five of the six models showed a fractional decrease in power consumption when using Blackle.

Btw, there are proven ways to save power with your computer.
See "Tips" at

Bad Black

A regulation to ban black cars - to reduce the energy requirements to cool them - was considered by the California legislature. However, a report states,"The problem isn't the color per se, but the reflectivity of the paint overall. And dark colors just don't reflect well, so they are likely out."

Note: Potential approaches include reformulation of paint to reflect near-infrared sunlight, parked car ventilation, and solar reflective window glazing. It is expected that cool paints, together with reflective glazing, will reduce the temperature of a typical vehicle parked in the sun by 5 to10 degrees celsius. Source