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Thriving with color

Architects and designers have learned to use color to communicate.

Color is used for branding and identifying, setting or boosting a mood, and wayfinding. From businesses to healthcare facilities to schools, color plays a major role in how people interact with the building and how an environment can impact their well-being.

Cool colors like blue and green are often used in healthcare settings to provide tranquility and comfort for patients and families. Red can make learning environments stimulating, or it can be used to draw cautionary attention where needed.



Color is not new when it comes to wayfinding in hospitals and other large facilities.

It is used in graphics on walls, markings on floors, and at entrances to differentiate building sections. It seems to be much easier for visitors to remember colors than north/south, east/west, or right/left directions.

Colored, laminated glass offers creative design options for architects and designers when creating pathways. Laminated glass with Vanceva® Color PVB interlayers can be the architectural element used in partitions, staircases, balustrades, columns, or other unique features. Colorful landmarks help designate an area or guide the way to a destination.

The Interior Division winner of the 2018 Vanceva® World of Color Awards™, Openshaw Education Center, Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, located in Salt Lake City, is a stunning example of how colored glass can be used as a guiding reference point as well as for mood boosting. The school provides education, therapy, and services for children with varying levels of sensory, behavioral, physical, and cognitive abilities. Understanding the school’s purpose and the varying abilities of its students challenged Salt Lake City’s Jacoby Architects to think outside the box when developing its design. The 50,000-square-foot facility has an orientation area, classrooms customized for sensory disabilities, clubhouses for physical and occupational therapy, a full-size gymnasium, and a multifunctional kitchen for vocational and life skills training.


To create a building that could be easily navigated by students as well as visitors, the architects chose a neutral canvas for floors, walls, and ceilings.
To create a building that could be easily navigated by students as well as visitors, the architects chose a neutral canvas for floors, walls, and ceilings.

In contrast, bright red illuminated accents—both exciting and cautionary—create landmarks for navigation. Along with the visual pop of color, the bright, glowing, red glass allows low-vision children and visitors to find their way around the building—from the front doors to open areas to classrooms. Even the brilliant red staircase that’s visible from the street serves as a visual guide for students, staff, and families.

Lively, colorful environments can have a positive impact on people. Daycares, preschools, elementary schools and, in this case, the Openshaw Education Center, use color to stimulate young minds in playful, creative ways. Red, a stimulating color of the rainbow, is a great way to help children of all abilities thrive and grow!

Find the right color for your next project by using our color selector tool at .


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