Ihab latte ?Tuscan? unbleached silk? cream? Buff? Ecru.


Ihab Mahmoud Hanafy a *, Decoration Department, Faculty of Applied Arts, Helwan
University, Al Orman, Giza, Egypt.



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Hanafy, I. (2016). Color and texture for architecture in
desert environment. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. Online. 00, pp 00-00. Available
from: www.prosoc.eu


Received from; revised  from; accepted from.

Selection and peer review under
responsibility of Zehra Ozcinar, Ataturk Teacher Training Academy.

©2016 SciencePark Research,
Organization & Counseling. All rights reserved.





This study is concerned with
colour and texture preference of exterior architecture in desert environment
with application on Sultanate of Oman. With regard to the most preferred
colour, six beige variations were assessed by Omani undergraduate ladies. These
are varied in hue, saturation and brightness. This is because it was noticed that
almost beige variations are used in traditional and contemporary Omani exterior
architecture.  These colours were order
ranked from the most preferred to the least as follows: cosmic latte ?Tuscan?
unbleached silk? cream? Buff? Ecru.  In
the texture investigation, the low degrees of roughness were preferred rather
than smooth and high roughness levels. Cosmic latte of low roughness was found
the most preferred exterior buildings’ colour and texture in desert environment
and especially Sultanate of Oman. It is suggested that these results could be
taken into consideration by architects and urban designers. Extending
investigations concerned with desert environment with focus on Sultanate of
Oman is recommended. Adoption, exploitation and application of this research
findings is suggested for organizations and constitutions concerned with
developing and establishing housing and construction. This is to fulfil
aesthetical, functional and economical values of exterior architecture.    


Aesthetical, beige, exterior, prefernce,Human.


1. Introduction

Architecture is the art and science of designing buildings and
structures (Merriam-Webster.com, 2016). This would include a large variety of
constructions ranging from urban planning to furniture design. This includes
planning, designing and constructing form or space taking into consideration
functional, social and aesthetical aspects and values. Aesthetical values in
architecture such as variety, equilibrium, repetition, harmony and
expressiveness are fulfilled using basic design elements including contrast,
proportion, scale, balance, rhythm, unity and character. Formal aesthetic
elements include form, colour and texture. Colour researchers are interested in
gaining better understanding of interrelations of these elements in order to
enhance architecture design process (Anter & Billger, 2010). Colour is one
of the most important architecture aesthetic elements that could achieve
several architectural requirements. It could link building and environment (Serra,
2013a). Texture has a great impact on colour appearance and visual quality. It
would exist with variable levels from soft to rough.


Caivano, J. reviewed research studies focused on colour in
architecture and environmental design from ancient times to 2006. He reported
that material aspects were the focus of colour in architectural research
studies. In the 19th century, studies were characterized for descriptivity and
objectivity. In the 20th century, researches were either concerned with colour
scientifically or rhetorically. He suggested that architects would be better to
interrelate colour science and art in the architecture field (Caivano, 2006).


Smith, D. in 2008 introduced a theoretical concept for designers
regarding colour-person-environment relationship. This is including urban
design, landscape architecture, and industrial design, as well as architecture
and interior design. She indicated that colour assists understanding a place. A
person in this relationship is viewer, participant and immersed. She showed
that colour is a key component of person. It was reported that the designers
should consider how the designed objects or places can influence how people
experience their daily activities (Smith, 2008).


Cubukcu and Kahraman compared building exterior colour preference of
Turkish architects and non-architects. One building was chosen and coloured
using variations of hue, saturations and lightness. They found that yellow and
blue are the most liked colours. Moreover, architects and non-architects
differed in their colour preference. Participants highly preferred colours of
full brightness and moderate to low saturation and colours of moderate to high
brightness and full saturation (Cubukcu & Kahraman, 2008).


Anter and Billger discussed different approaches of colour research in
architectural. They reported that research studies related to colour appearance
and emotion are independent of each other. Colour research in the architecture
area is linked to its real situation. Therefore, it is impossible to accurately
generalise these studies’ results but could be used to extrapolate colour
tendency and directions. Results of studies based on different approaches and
methodologies could not be compared or combined but could assist analysing and
addressing architecture problems, questions and patterns (Anter & Billger,


Serra et al. in 2012 studied colour composition in modern
architecture. They carried out a comparative study of three of the most
relevant colour composition systems in the first half of the 20th century
(Purism and Le Corbusier, Expressionism and Taut, Neoplasticism and Rietveld).
Three widespread ideas were investigated. These were the prominence of white
hues, the use of ”flat colours,” and the conception of colour during the ideation
phase. They concluded that the three systems limited the range of colour to
avoid ”colour excesses” of the painted decoration, and debug form. There
was tendency to reduce shades but not so usual. Colour was used to transform
architecture rather than conforming to it. There was ethical basis in choosing
colour in addition to aesthetical concerns. Architects were concerned with
values beyond ethical and aesthetical values. These were political, economic,
hedonistic, communicative values (Serra, García, Torres, & Llopis, 2012).


Later in 2013, Serra and Codoner analysed the colour composition
features in postmodern western architecture (1960-2000). This was to help
understand the roots of contemporary colours used in architecture. The main
features of four decades (60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s) were analysed. In the
60’s, two main trends were reported; namely ecological and technological
utopias. In the 70’s, they pointed out different chromatic trends used by
neo-rationalist architects. In the 80’s, architects used semantic values of
colour to bring high architecture to common public. In the 90’s, there was the
development of computer aided media and colouring technologies of materials.
This led architects to be deconstructivist exhausting colour possibilities in
architecture (Serra & Codoñer, 2014).


Serra, J. discussed the versatility of colour in contemporary
architecture aiming at establishing concepts of the way colour was employed.
Four concepts related to “versatility” were set. These are transformation,
fragmentation, movement, and novelty. Transformation affects the visual aspect
of the building. Fragmentation affects the unity of the building. Movement
affects the position as architects either use static colours suggesting
movements or actual moving colours. Novelty applies the use of technology in
applying and choosing colours used. He indicated that colour versatility in the
future should not be isolated from its environment context (Serra, 2013b). 


Later in 2013, he analysed the architectural colour classification
systems suggested by previous researchers and reported three main plastic
strategies. He considered these systems as complementary rather than
contradictory. These were that colour can describe a building and its function.
It can affect a building’s architectural shape. Besides, colour is arranged for
its intrinsic value. The most interesting successful colour composition is the
one integrating the three systems or strategies (Serra, 2013a).


Previous research studies indicated that building is linked to
environment. This is because there are mutual interrelations between
architecture, environment and human. Each environment has its significant
features affecting architecture design. Desert environment is a special
environment signified for its geographical nature and climate conditions. This
requires designing appropriate architecture fulfil aesthetical and functional
values. This study is concerned with aesthetic aspects of architecture in
desert environment of Sultanate of Oman.


Research studies investigating desert environment of Sultanate of Oman
were reviewed. There were found limited studies. One of these studies is a
study carried out by Hegazy, S. found that 77.4% of the respondents in her
study satisfied with contemporary vernacular architecture in Sultanate of Oman.
This is because of using inherited traditional Omani style. The research
recommended extending investigations in Oman concerning a wide range of using
more abstracted forms of Omani traditional architecture, and more tendencies to
develop the use of eco–friendly materials (Hegazy, 2015).


The author found that the literature review lacking knowledge related
to spatially complex situations of desert architecture and specially Sultanate
of Oman. It was found important to investigate aesthetical values of
architecture in Sultanate of Oman with special focus on colour and texture.
This is to fulfil aesthetic unity in the city which affect positively the
surrounding environment and consequently on human living in this environment.


This study aimed at determining the most preferred colours and
textures of architecture in Muscat as a desert environment. This is because
they are very important architectural aesthetic and functional values.  This study objective is to present the
results to organizations and constitutions work on housing and construction to
be adopted in developing architecture design of Muscat- Sultanate of Oman.


2. Method

2.1. Subjects

Research studies showed that there are
several factors in psychophysical experiments would be assessor dependent.
These factors include age, gender and cultural and educational background.
Therefore, it was decided to use 50 Omani ladies studying in the final
year-graphic design department.

2.2. Stimuli

This study is concerned with architecture
in desert environment with focus on the Omani environment. A building of
contemporary Omani style was selected from Al Mouj city- Muscat. The picture of this building
is used as the main sample in the experiments conducted. In this study, two experiments
were carried out. The first experiment is concerned with colour and the second
is focused on texture.

2.3.    Experiments

2.3.1. Studying
the color of  Omani

It was noticed that variety of beige colour
is being used in the exterior architecture in Oman. Therefore, it was decided
to choose six different variations of beige almost used. The picture of the
building set as the main sample was coloured into those six beige variations
using Photoshop software employing the HSV color model (see Figure 1). The Hue (H),
Saturation (S) and Value (V) values used in this experiment are listed in Table 1.

Table 1 Hue
(H), Saturation (S) and Value (V) values of colours used































2.3.2. Studying
the texture of  Omani

The texture of building exterior is highly
affecting its appearance. Therefore, it was decided to make variations of
texture for the most preferred colour. This was carried out using Photoshop
software employing “Texturizer” filter-“Craquelure” subfilter.
This subfilter simulates the cracking of the paint. In “Craquelure”
subfilter spacing, depth, and brightness could be set. The default values of
spacing and brightness (i.e. 10) were used. Six depth values were applied in
order to produce variety of textures for the same colour found preferred by the
subjects. These are 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. (See Figure 2) Value of zero is
used to present the smoothest texture; however, the value 10 was used to
present the roughest texture.

     In each of the previous experiments, the
paired comparison method was used to determine the most preferred colour or
texture. The number of samples (n) in each experiment is 6. Therefore, in each
test there will be n(n-1)/2 pairs to be compared (i.e. 15
pairs). Each pair is shown to the participant to choose the preferred one.

3. Results and discussion

3.1. Assessment  of Omani architecture color

Six pictures coloured in the six beige
variations (see Figure 1 and Table 1) were exhibited to
the 50 participants in pairs to choose the preferred one. The results are shown
in Figure 3.

From Figure 3, it was found that
cosmic latte is the most preferred beige for exterior buildings in Oman
followed by Tuscan, unbleached silk, cream, Buff and Ecru is the least
preferred beige. The values of Hue, saturation and value of the most and least
preferred colours were compared. With regard to hue, the colours assessed were
found ranging from 22° to 57° (HSV system). Both colours (i.e. the most and
least preferred) were found in the middle of this range (Cosmic latte 40° and
Ecru 45°). The most preferred colour “cosmic latte” was found the
most saturated beige assessed of 94%. However, the least preferred colour
“Ecru” was found of significantly lower saturation (i.e. 34%). With
regard to value, beige variations assessed were found ranging from 100% to 76%.
Ecru value was found in the least end of this range. However, cosmic latte
value was found in the middle of this range of 90%.

3.2. Assessment  of Omani architecture texture

From the previous experiment, cosmic latte
was found the most preferred beige. Therefore, the picture of building coloured
in cosmic latte was used in this experiment employing 6 texture variations.
These texture variations were used to produce 6 pictures of the building
exterior of different textures (see Figure 2). The pictures were
shown to 50 participants in pairs to select the preferred ones. The data
collected were used to order rank the texture variations used preference from
the most to the least. The results are shown in Figure 4.

It is stated in section 2.3.2. that the Craquelure
subfilter was used to make 6 different pictures of different textures. This was
carried out employing different depth degrees. In this subfilter, the higher value
of depth was, the more rough the paint of building exterior was. From Figure
the pictures assessed for texture were rank ordered as follows:  2? 4? 0? 6? 8? 10 depth. This means that the
subjects preferred low and medium levels of roughness (presented here by 2 and
4 depth) rather than smooth and highly rough levels.




A Buff

B Cosmic Latte


A 0 depth

B 2 depth

C Cream

D Ecru


C 4 depth

D 6 depth

E Tuscan

F Unbleached silk


E 8 depth

F  10 depth

Figure 1 Variations of Beige used


Figure 2 variations of textures used


Figure 3
The preference of Beige variations (colour) by Omani female undergraduate students


Figure 4
The preference of texture by Omani female undergraduate students

4. Conclusions and implications

this study, colour and texture preference of exterior architecture in Sultanate
of Oman were investigated. 50 Omani ladies studying in the final year – Graphic
design department were employed to carry out subjective assessment. Two
experiments were conducted (i.e. colour and texture assessments). The samples
used were 6 pictures in each assessment. The first experiment was focused on
the colour preference of building exterior and the second was concerned with
texture. In the colour assessment, beige variations were used to colour a
building presenting contemporary Omani architecture. These beige variations
were order ranked from the most preferred to the least as follows: cosmic latte
?Tuscan? unbleached
silk? cream? Buff? Ecru.  In the texture
investigation, the low degrees of roughness were preferred rather than smooth
and high roughness levels. It was concluded in this study that cosmic latte of
low roughness could be the most preferred exterior buildings’ colour and
texture in desert environment and especially Sultanate of Oman. These results
have practical and economic implications for urban and architects designers. This
is because effective exploitation and application of colour and texture in
exterior architecture could be reflected in its aesthetic, functional and
economic values.



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Hegazy, S. M. (2015). Continuity
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Merriam-Webster.com. (2016).
Architecture. Merriam-Webster.  Retrieved
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Serra, J. (2013a). Three color
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* ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Name, Hanafy, I., Decoration Department,
Faculty of Applied Arts, Helwan University, Al Orman, Giza, Egypt

   E-mail address: [email protected]
/ Tel.: +96894395791