Color in Institutional Spaces

By Billy Rosbottom  | May, 2016
INSTITUTIONAL. The term might conjure up horrific images of prisons and psychiatric hospitals, such as Pelican Bay State Prison (Crescent City, CA) and Pennhurst (Spring City, PA). It could also bring to mind the Pentagon, the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick, RI, or many of the buildings constructed after 1945 in East Germany and the U.S.S.R. While our collective experience of “institutional” architecture is imposing and unappealing, it’s likely rooted in our lack of understanding.


Established for the betterment of the larger community, institutions are essential components for ensuring society’s health, safety, welfare and growth. Educational, research and healthcare institutions provide opportunities for continual improvement, as do religious, governmental and financial institutions, among many others.

Originally published in D+D • May 2016

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