Architectural Colour Composition

We are talking with the owners of a new penthouse apartment in southern Germany, who give us an insight into their colour concept.

"The walls and ceilings of the entire apartment were initially designed in white. We have nothing against white, but we want more colour, colours of nature. How do we design our new home with colours that will make us feel comfortable and how do we manage not doing it wrong? In our research, we came across the colours of Le Corbusier. We are dealing with Architectural Polychromy and picture our way of thinking in colour effects:

  • A Mediterranean atmosphere for the large room – which includes living, dining room and kitchen.
  • Ease and expand spaces and feel water, sky, infinity.
  • Arouse stimulating emotions through individual colour accents.
  • Integrate in the colour scheme numerous switches and sockets.


Meanwhile, we live in the apartment, feel very comfortable and are glad that our visitors feel impressed too."

"All of us, according to our taste and reactions, favour one or more dominating schemes of colour. Each individual is drawn towards some particular harmony which seems to accord with his innert feelings. The practical difficulty is to show colours in such a way that the individual can detect his own “affinity“. And this is why the “Colour Key-boards” have been invented. [...] In my opinion they offer a method of approach which ia accurate and effective, one which makes it possible to plan, in the modern home, colour harmonies which are definitely architectural and yet suited to the natural taste and needs of the individual."

Le Corbusier  


The two walls in the entrance and the kitchen are designed in 32131 ombre brûlée claire.
 The reddish-brown Umbra nuance stabilizes itself in the room, unfolds a sandy space effect and has – as a background colour – the gift to make surrounding and adjacent objects appear more present. 


32060 ocre gives the wall of the contiguous dining area character – sandy, warm and restrained elegant. The light ocher nuance awakens associations with sand, beach and sun.

Ease and expand spaces
Feel water, sky, infinity 


The brightest shade of the ultramarine blue series, 32024 outremer gris, becomes unnoticeable. The space is extended.


Instead of white, the ceilings of the entire apartment receive this restrained blue-grey hue. The light ultramarine blue has a soothing effect and creates sentiments of water and sky. 

              Ceiling in 32024 outremer gris. Interior walls in 32131 ombre brûlée claire and 32060 ocre.


4320T bleu outremer foncé,
the deep ultramarine blue, sets a harmonic accent on the second exterior wall of the large room – a fascinating colour that reflects infinity.


Arouse stimulating emotions through individual colour accents

Further colour accents are set in guest room and bedroom..

32050 vert foncé
The rich brilliant green. A deep and very neutral green; expressing the summer.

The other walls of this room are painted in 32001 blanc – the cream white, the balanced nuance with stable aesthetics. The light switches and sockets are selected in accordance with the wall colour.



32090 rouge vermillon 31
The deep dynamic red. Or the luminescent vermillon red. The wall in 32090 rouge vermillon 31 emerges and has a stimulating effect. 

Le Corbusier uses this vibrant red most frequently as a combination colour in his colour keyboards.  Again, the other walls of the room receive the colour 32001 blanc - the cream white.


Integrate coloured switches and sockets


All of the numerous desired light switches and sockets are integrated into the colour concept – in accordance with the wall colour or by repetition of the colour of an adjacent wall.  


In accordance with the wall colour 


By repetition of the colour of an adjacent wall    


This colour scheme has been implemented in the original Le Corbusier colours with the products of the renowned Les Couleurs® Le Corbusier product partners KEIM (wall paints) and JUNG (light switches and sockets).


The descriptions of all Le Corbusier colours as well as the colour schemes can be found in the book "Architectural Colour Design – Le Corbusier's Architectural Polychromy" by Les Couleurs Suisse AG.


Photos ©Les Couleurs Suisse


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