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List of architecture projects with colour semantic


By Antonino Cardillo

In 1824, the student of antiquities Jakob Ignaz Hittorff discovered in Sicily traces of colour on a small temple, among the ruins of the ancient city of Selinunte.⁠[1] He thus hypothesised that the Greek temples could not have been white. Up to then, European society had focused on the historic prejudice of Greek purity, the legitimacy of its action in the World. This phenomenon of identification still persists today, but this instance of purity does not come from a ‘classical’ past, as those who ‘use’ history to legitimise their actions would have us believe, but it is a consequence of the machine age. A consequence of that scientific interpretation of the World that finds representation in the science laboratory of the Century of the Enlightenment. That reveals the nature of the problem: the civilising European instance, which to this day pervades large parts of its ex-colonies, is founded on the primacy of the psychological function of Thought. Thus, in realising that ideal of purity which culminates in the absolutism of the white, modern architecture reveals the pattern of behaviour that moves it.⁠[2] Polychromy, on the other hand, speaks of the inclusive nature of the ‘classical’. Colour refers to the things of the World: the sea, the land, the forest and the sky. Colour possesses the power of evocation: sequentially and in associations, polychromy renders possible the universal language of architecture.


  1. Jakob Ignaz Hittorff, Restitution du Temple d’Empédocle a Sélinonte, ou l’Architecture Polychrôme chez les Grecs., Librairie de Firmin Didot Frères, Paris, 1851.
  2. Carl Gustav Jung, Psychologische Typen, Rascher Verlag, Zurich, 1921; It. ed., Tipi Psicologici, Bollati Boringhieri, Turin, 2016.

Grey and pink

Saline Ettore e Infersa, Marsala, 16 May 2021

Antonino Cardillo, Mammacaura, Marsala, 2021. Photography: Antonino Cardillo


From green to red

Parma, 10 July 2019

Antonino Cardillo, Memories for Cruising, Parma, 2019. Photography: Antonino Cardillo, 2021

Memories for Cruising

Black and gold

Rome, 21 June 2018

Antonino Cardillo, Off Club, Rome, 2018. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Off Club

Orange and pink

Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Trapani, 27 August 2016

Antonino Cardillo, Specus Corallii, Sala Laurentina, Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Trapani, 2016. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Specus Corallii


Illuminum Fragrance, London, 26 April 2015

Antonino Cardillo, Colour as a Narrative, Illuminum Fragrance, London, 2015. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Colour as a Narrative


Mondrian Suite, Rome, 29 April 2014

Antonino Cardillo, Crepuscular Green, Mondrian Suite Art Gallery, Rome, 2014. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Crepuscular Green

From brown to pink

Rome, 16 April 2013

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

House of Dust

Blue, magenta, and green

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 6 September 2011

Antonino Cardillo, Postmodern Cafe, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2011. Graphic: Antonino Cardillo

Postmodern Cafe

Blue and grey

Sergio Rossi, Milan, 15 April 2010

Antonino Cardillo, Akin to a Cinema Set, Sergio Rossi–Wallpaper, Milan, 2010. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

Akin to a Cinema Set


Neues Museum, Berlin, 6 April 2009

Antonino Cardillo, House for Wallpaper* architects directory, 2009. Photography: Antonino Cardillo

House for Wallpaper*