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Using colour with confidence

25 July 2011 No Comment

Clever use of colour can bring a building to life and enhance the lives of the people using it. Pre-finished steel in long-lasting colours open the door to a world of possibility for today’s architects.


“There has been a tendency for colours to be neglected as an architectural instrument but I think it’s coming back”, says Danish architect, Uffe Riis Sorensen.

Confident use of colour

Sorensen is playing his part in exploiting colour to design bold and innovative buildings. His clever and confident use of colour on a community housing scheme at Odense in Denmark scooped a top award for his firm.


Sorensen’s design for Seden House (Sedenhuse), a home for 40 young people, incorporates a striking use of colour on the steel-clad exterior along with mood-enhancing interior colours.

“The colours radiate joy and life,” says Sorensen, who works with Danish architects’ firm, A/S Hune & Elkjaer of Arhus. His use of colour certainly resonated with a jury of architects, builders and artists who picked Seden House for a major Danish industry organisation ‘Colour Award’ in 2010.

The design credentials of Seden House extend beyond aesthetics. The scheme also won an environment award in November 2009 – reflecting an environmentally-friendly choice of construction materials.

Exploiting colour to design bold and innovative buildings

The choice of cladding material played a key role in the realisation of Sorensen’s vision for the scheme. It was vital that the exterior colours were long-lasting and durable to maintain visual impact. The Seden House project utilises Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® pre-finished steel from Tata Steel (formerly Corus) for the exterior cladding.


Tata Steel has been developing and manufacturing the Colorcoat® range of leading pre-finished steel products for nearly 50 years. With a proven track record in performance, reliability and sustainability, Colorcoat® pre-finished steel is regularly specified for both new build and refurbishment projects all over Europe. The pre-finished steel is manufactured by Tata Steel and further processed by system manufacturers worldwide into finished cladding systems for roofs and walls.

Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® and Colorcoat Prisma® pre-finished steel offer architects an unrivalled choice for industrial, commercial and leisure applications in even the harshest of environments.

Optimum colour palette

Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® exploits modern coating technology for outstanding colour retention and corrosion resistance. Following extensive consultation with architects and colour specialists, Tata Steel has developed an optimum colour palette for this product including tonal shades and colours that can help buildings blend successfully with their environment. The collection comprises 35 colours, with two popular colours available as matt versions.


Product Development Manager at Tata Steel Colors, Dr Peter Barker, says: “All of our standard colours for both Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® and Colorcoat Prisma® achieve Ruv4 status as set out in the European standard EN10169:2009 that defines the test methodology and classification for UV resistance. Ruv4 classification provides architects and building owners with the reassurance that a building will retain its true colour and gloss for longer.”

Confidex® Guarantee

That reassurance is backed by the Confidex® Guarantee for up to 40 years for industrial and commercial buildings in Zone1 & 2 for Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® and up to 30 years for Colorcoat Prisma®.

Partner at Hune & Elkjaer, Allan Wright, is in no doubt that Colorcoat® was the right choice for Seden House. He says: “We’ll certainly look at using Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® again on other projects.”

For more information on Colorcoat® products and services contact our +44 (0) 1244 892434 – colorcoat.connection@tatasteel.com.

Images courtesy of Tata Steel Building Systems

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