Mellow Yellow

ARQUITECTURA-G casts a Barcelona duplex in geometric gold

ARQUITECTURA-G's main intervention was the removal of a second level floor-plate and the addition of new north-facing exposures. (José Hevia)

Yellow doesn’t always get the best rap in Western society. Though its origin can be traced to the sun, the source of all life on this planet, and such innate sources as egg yolks, bananas, and autumn foliage, the color has come to take on a number of nefarious meanings. In wayfinding, the tone is used to indicate interruption while  idioms like “yellow-bellied” denote cowardice. According to surveys in Europe, Canada, and the United States, yellow is the color most people associate with amusement, gentleness, humor, and spontaneity, but also with duplicity, envy, jealousy, and avarice.

Though the color can be identified as a popular choice in architecture and design at different, albeit indulgent, periods of history, recent trends have seen it go out of fashion. What comes to mind is Robert Adam’s particular strain of Neoclassicism in the 18th-century or the linoleum-lined kitchens of the 1950s. Shaking things up for the first time in a long while is cutting-edge, Barcelona-based practice ARQUITECTURA-G. The young firm is perhaps also the first to have pulled this primary hue out of its dark and frivolous mire, giving it new purpose and standing, if not also a restrained redemption.

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