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Apartment buildings A and B, in A.

Due to uniform architecture and the massive scale of postwar housing blocks, anonymity and disorientation were waiting in the wings. Architects attempted to solve this by using bright colours to enliven the facades.

Yellow, red and blue gave the housing estate a recognisable identity and made it pleasanter to live in. In the same way as wearing the same sports gear boosts team spirit, using colour also enriches a collective identity.

This design by father and son Warners has no date but was probably made before 1952, the year in which F.A. Warners died. In 1956, Allert Warners designed apartment buildings at Slotermeerlaan/Van Deyssel laan in Amsterdam. He also used coloured elements for the facades. As well as Mondrian, Le Corbusier was a great source of inspiration to Warners, in particular the latter's Unité d’Habitation of 1952, as can be clearly seen in the concrete supporting beams, the bright colours, the use of glass as wall covering, etc. These buildings were aptly named The Paintbox.


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