Colour in Architecture 2017

The WAN Colour in Architecture Award category is one of the most exciting and inspirational of all the award sectors.

Colour is an intrinsic component of architectural design. Not only does it influence the way in which we experience a structure, the intelligent use of colour also expresses the building’s identity with regard to location, typology and palette of materials.  We passionately believe that the use of colour in the built environment will be increasingly important and integral to the way our cities evolve in the next few decades - especially with the benefit of new technology, both in surface coatings and LED façades. This will pave the way for a more colourful and communicative built environment.

The WAN Colour in Architecture Award celebrates projects that harness the use of colour to dramatically transform a building or enhance the experience for its users and community.

Entering this award will significantly enhance your practice’s global profile, while being shortlisted or winning will confirm your firm’s position as an exemplar of creativity and originality.

If you have a project that uses colour which creates a more dynamic and communicative built environment, we would love to showcase your project.

WAN AWARDS May Newsletter 17

WAN AWARDS June Newsletter 17

New for 2017: We are delighted to announce that World Cities Network & Planning and PlanningResource have signed up as media partners for the WAN AWARDS.

Benefits of entering  

Our aim is to deliver maximum exposure for newly completed and inspiring projects across 22 categories, with areas as diverse as Adaptive Reuse, Transport, Performing Spaces and Waterfront Architecture. We welcome entries from practices of all sizes and specialties, our aim is to reward outstanding work.

Winning the WAN AWARDS has proven to be a significant asset, establishing your firm's credentials as a design leader within the sector and often leads to direct opportunities with new clients. In fact, many of our judges have gone on to collaborate with previous award recipients.

GLOBAL EXPOSURE: Upon entering, your work will be featured permanently on the WAN AWARDS’ website. In addition, a gallery of entries will be published in News Review, showcased to our readership of approximately a quarter of a million property developers, architects, consultants and organisations in countries around the world.

INTERNATIONAL JURY PANEL: Your project will be judged by a top-level international jury panel of highly influential people including developers, clients and leading designers, providing a unique opportunity to promote your work to leading experts.

A CHANCE TO JUDGE: WAN AWARDS winners are often invited to join our jury panels in subsequent years

WINNERS' PRESS KITS: Awarded along with a certificate, this contains a specially designed logo to signify the status of the Winner, Shortlisted or Commended entries along with an official dedicated press release, enabling you to quickly and easily share your success with the local and international media.

AWARDS EVENT: We will be holding an awards ceremony in the later part of the year. All winners will be announced at this 2017 event. Date yet to be confirmed.

If you would like to showcase your firm’s capabilities and gain critical acclaim in the global marketplace, enter the WAN AWARDS today.

Closing date for entry is 30 June 2017. Early Bird discounted registration ends 19 April 2017.


The competition is open to all projects completed during the last three full calendar years, on or after 01 January 2014.

Submission format & guidelines  

Online upload

Please upload one thumbnail, main image and supportive text (We advise around 200-250 words for your online entry.)

Please make sure to include the use of the building if not immediately obvious. Please use this space to summarise & outline your project attributes.

PDF Presentation

Please supply a 10 page, one sided, hi-res A3 PDF (this can be portrait or landscape)

Presentation is important, judges are influenced by a clearly presented scheme that they understand. It's the first step to get them to connect with your project. Follow the tips below and you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

Please view GUIDELINES for your entry.

The presentations are NOT anonymous. Feel free to incorporate your firms name and logo where appropriate.

The deadline for both the online upload and 10 page A3 pdf is 30/06/17 5pm (GMT)

You are allowed to submit an unlimited number of entries in one or multiple categories. One entry fee = one project submission. 

How to enter  

Click the yellow 'Enter Now' button.

If you are already registered you will be able to click 'login' and use your existing registration code and password.

If you are registering for the first time you will need to click the 'sign up' button and complete the registration form. You will then be sent a registration code and password by email, which you can use to log in to 'Backstage'. (Please check your spam folder if you do not receive this immediately.)

Once logged in, please follow the instructions, ensuring you have selected the correct category.

Please direct any questions or problems regarding entries / registration or payment to

UK entries please add VAT.

Judging criteria  

The judges will use their experience in the sector to assess your project on a number of factors to get to the short list including; Originality, Innovation, Form, Function, Sustainability and Context.

The shortlisted projects will then be tested to see whether your design has:

Addressed any key challenges within the client brief


Pushed the accepted boundaries for this building type 

Presentation is also of great importance, and judges will be looking for your ability to communicate the 'story' of your building, from the initial concept through to its completion.

The competition stages  

A long list of around twenty five projects will initially be selected, but the total figure will depend entirely on the final amount of entries submitted by the closing date. From the long list, a short list of six projects will be selected before an overall winner is chosen.

On occasion, a project may be ‘commended’ even if they have not made the final six short list, and this is entirely at the discretion of the jury.


The entrance fee is £409.50 but an early registration price of £357 is available for entries made before 19 April 2017.

Key Dates:

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  • The Chrysalis Amphitheater


  • Mount Jordan Middle School
  • KIA BEAT 360
  • The Meeting House
  • The Chrysalis Amphitheater
  • Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care
  • Maria Holder Nursery School Gall Hill


  • Mount Jordan Middle School
  • KIA BEAT 360
  • Alvand Tower
  • Värtaverket
  • The Meeting House
  • The Chrysalis Amphitheater
  • Eurogida Administrative Building
  • Crosstown Elementary School
  • Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care
  • Jenga Windows
  • Maria Holder Nursery School Gall Hill

All entries

  • Mount Jordan Middle School
  • KIA BEAT 360
  • Alvand Tower
  • Värtaverket
  • The Meeting House
  • The Chrysalis Amphitheater
  • Eurogida Administrative Building
  • Crosstown Elementary School
  • Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care
  • Jenga Windows
  • Maria Holder Nursery School Gall Hill

View all entries

Winning announcements

WAN Colour in Architecture Award Winner 16

McBride Charles Ryan wins the WAN Colour in Architecture 2016 Award with their outstanding design for the Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years and Science Centre in Melbourne
We are delighted to announce McBride Charles Ryan Architects as the winner of the WAN Colour in Architecture Award 2016 for their Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years & Science Centre, a project that places a vibrant and engaging use of colour at the heart of the design concept.
The winning design was selected from a shortlist of six entries by an expert judging panel. This year’s jury, chosen for their knowledge and experience in this category, were: Karen Haller, Applied Colour Psychology Consultant at Karen Haller Colour & Design, Morag Morrison, Partner at Hawkins\Brown, Per Nimer, Design Manager at Akzonobel and Zlatko Slijepcevic, Director of EPR Architects. After assessing the shortlist in depth, the judges were unanimous in their admiration for this project, which they considered a standout winner for successfully expressing a design philosophy that treated colour as a key consideration throughout.
The brief for this new school building included a variety of general learning areas, provision for the senior year teachers and a science centre. The circular shaped plan had an appropriate civic quality based on the school’s original masterplan. However, rather repeating the circular pattern inside, the designers chose to use geometry and colour to define the central courtyards, light wells and learning spaces. The sharp angles and vivid colours of the interior form a dramatic contrast with the round form and muted tones of the drum-like outer structure.
At key entry points, the drum is ‘eroded’ to reveal the wonders of science and learning expressed through this vibrant design. Per was delighted by the surprise of the coloured inner spaces as revealed through these openings, and went on to say: “I think that what fascinates me - and what makes it a winner - is that this project is obviously about colour from the start.” The designers were inspired by the idea of an eggshell hiding an inner core, and by kaleidoscopes, where a view inside reveals seemingly infinite combinations of colour and pattern. Karen appreciated this approach, saying: “It does look like an egg and when you break it open, there’s this jewel of colours in the middle.”
The contrast evident in the building’s language encapsulates contemporary methods for a well-rounded education. The classic circular form represents the order and certainty of knowledge, while the building’s expressive and complex inner world represents the uncertainty of modern life and scientific understanding, and the necessity of wonder and imagination to see us through. Zlatko praised the accurate response of the design to its context as a school building, combining the serious with the playful. Morag also noted the building’s effectiveness in its particular location, stating: “I think that it works in the context of Australia, where there’s bright sunshine. For kids, it must be brilliant.”
Overall, the judges agreed that this project exemplified the Award’s aim to champion designs using colour to create a more dynamic and communicative built environment. Karen said: “For the whole premise, that there’s an architectural firm looking to bring colour to the beginning of the design and not at the end - that’s to be commended.”...

Colour in Architecture Award WINNER: Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years & Science Centre, Melbourne, Australia by McBride Charles Ryan Architects
Left to Right: Karen Haller, Per Nimer, Zlatko Slijepcevic and Morag Morrison
Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years & Science by McBride Charles Ryan © John Gollings
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