architecture : urban : visual culture

Acting Colours - the new National Tennis Centre

Ever since modernism, it is always risky to create a colorful building that preserves its dignity. This was especially true for the National Tennis Centre that had to present a graceful, elite vibe, while transmitting playfulness. Géza Kendik architect of this plan has certainly managed to deliver on these.

Colours applied in rich tones, reminding of the architecture from the Art Nouveau style, were gradually pushed into the background and the passing of Art Deco also meant the end of bright palettes. Modernism, as such exiled tones altogether, and only tolerated the presence of clean colours, if any. In the past few years, however, we saw the return of colours in a spectacular way into our man-made environment.

Constructed on a hillside, the building of the National Tennis Centre takes on the game, which was an elite sport from the very beginning. Its architectural appearance also had to reflect its outstanding and prioritized function, the national character. The former lies in the generous overall formation of the volume of the building, s well as in the well-conceived richness of functions, whilst the latter in the colourful design of the facade.

Cut in an angle and organised into horizontal rows, the components are fixed in a powder-sprinkled metal sheeting, which is actually a grand mosaic of colours, as it breaks down the three colours of the national flag into harmonious lines of colours, a total of 12 various shades. The outcome is a fine example of how aesthetic architecture can respond to a trap-like challenge which seems didactic. The relatively modest size floor area features a generous sports centre which has been selected as one of the 15 best applicant projects of WAN (World Architectural News) in the category titled Color in Architecture.





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