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Colors to Call its own

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-24 01:14

Shanghai is home to the Huangpu River and the Suzhou Creek. Photo provided to China Daily

Fu Guohua, general manager of KFS Design International Shanghai, pointed out that as people's reactions to colors change over time, the city's main hue should be one that is timeless. He used the main color of Honolulu as an example.

"Most buildings in Honolulu are painted white or have light colors that contrast with the blue sky and oceans. Such colors fit the environment and make visitors feel comfortable," said.

Zhang suggested using gray as the main hue for Shanghai.

"The old buildings along the waterfront at the Bund are mostly gray. The color is timeless and elegant, reflects Shanghai's culture, and goes well with the city's architectural styles," he said.

Zhang added that the main color in different parts of the city could differ depending on the nature of each section. For instance, the main hues on Chongming Island where there is more greenery would naturally differ from those used in the Lujiazui financial district.

Shikumen houses with gray brick walls were once the city's most typical residences. Photo provided to China Daily

Apart from the main city colors, other hues could also be used to create a more vibrant atmosphere through the use of elements such as vegetation, billboards, street art and taxis.

"Vegetation is a versatile element that allows us to create differing atmospheres because their colors change according to the seasons," said Fu, referring to the city's iconic French plane trees.

The Shanghai government has since 2012 been promoting the best boulevards in the city for visitors to admire the summer greenery or the autumn spectacle of red and yellow leaves that blanket the streets.

Canadian media artist explorer JT Singh said that lighting fixtures can also play a part in making spaces in the city more engaging and aesthetically pleasing. He suggested that more fixtures can be installed on existing old buildings to breathe new life into them and the neighborhoods they are in.

"If someone can recognize Shanghai within moments of seeing one of its streets, and not any of its famous landmarks, that means our color scheme has worked. That is the level we want to be at," said Wang.


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