La Casa de Mamá

Architect: Ángel Luis Lorenzo
Window Manufacturer: Ariño-Duglass

Right at the heart of Guadalajara, “La Casa de Mamá” brings a touch of colour to the city’s landscape. When viewed at a distance, it’s a gigantic cube of brilliant shades reflecting the sunlight. However, once inside we get a sensation of walking through rooms in which everything is a blaze of colour, yet also transparent, as the light penetrates into the building, filtered through the Vanceva® glass sheets: a complete multi-coloured prism, which can leave no-one cold. Parents are astonished by the innovative, mould-breaking aesthetic, in a rather traditional setting, and children – at whom the project is primarily aimed– are delighted at being able to play and amuse themselves is such an unusual environment.

The dream of its designer, Ángel Luis Lorenzo, became reality thanks to Vanceva® colour interlayers: “The building’s intrinsic architectural design implied using colour, she explained. It involved building a transparent ‘box’ using colour as a resource, so that it would be instantly recognizable for children and suitable for its intended use”. Six Vanceva® shades were chosen to give the project its distinctive character: blue, green, red, pink, yellow and orange.

The façade comprises various vertical and horizontal modules, in which fortuitous patterns in the colours used are blended together, creating an impression of ‘organized chaos’, perfectly encapsulating the child’s outlook. “We were seeking the right balance to make the most of the glazing, both financially and having regard to its position.  In this way, we succeed in getting a façade that is neutral, abstract, in the style of a mosaic of colour”, notes Lorenzo.

Factoids Part 3

The colors of the Olympic logo

The official Olympic logo was created by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1913.  It consists of five interlacing rings of blue, yellow, black, green, and red.  At least one of these colors is found in the flag of every nation. According to the Olympic Charter, the five-ringed symbol “represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games: Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. On the other hand, Pierre de Coubertin never said nor wrote that the colors of the rings were linked with the different continents.

Blue blooded bugs

A spider’s blood turns blue when exposed to oxygen.

“Blue” Jeans

Only half the denim in your blue jeans is dyed blue. The other half is white weft threads.


The Famous Fireballs Mystery

Picture this: Hundreds of red, pink and orange fireballs soar up into the sky from the he Mekong River in northern Thailand. This occurs every year on the first full moon night of October, which coincides with the end of Buddhist Lent

According to one theory, flammable natural gas deposits in the riverbed cause the colorful fireballs. These gases are released when the sun heats the decomposing plant and animal remains on the bottom of the Mekong and are drawn to the surface by the moon’s gravitational pull.

Local residents have long embraced the legend that the flames come from a mythical Naga, or serpent, in a gesture of homage to the Lord Buddha. They are seen regularly each year around the end of Buddhist Lent and attract hordes of tourists.

A color that made history

In the ancient world of the Aztecs, red dye was considered more valuable than gold. The bright red colorant required the labor of hundreds of subjects combing the desert in search of its source – the female cochineal beetle. A pound of water-soluble extract required about a million insects. (By comparison, back in the days of the Roman Empire, a pound of royal purple dye required four million mollusks.)

After the arrival of Cortez in the 1500s, the Spaniards traded the dried remains of this insect as a colorant that dyed items a brilliant crimson. Cochine al red w as a stronger dye than ever before – and a color that no one could duplicate. Europeans used it for fabrics and illumination in addition to cooking. In the years that followed, Michelangelo used it in paintings, the British for redcoats and the Canadians for their Mounted Police coats. It is thought that the first U.S. flag made by Betsy Ross had cochineal red stripes. Today, less expensive aniline dyes have replaced it, but it is used as a food coloring and is approved by the FDA as a natural colorant for food, drug and cosmetics. In fact, some brands of fruit juice use this red bug juice as a colorant.

The story of Cochineal red is even more fascinating. Europeans were never told of its insect origin. In reality, the insect looked so much like a seed, that the Spaniards traded it as grain. For almost 300 years, they perpetuated the notion that?dyed in the grain? was their special process for this permanent dye that never faded. And that’s the source of the English term “ingrained.”

Source: Wikipedia

The color of the Universe (much blander than before)

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University announced that the color of the universe was pale turquoise. Three months later, they admitted that they made a mistake in their original calculation and that the true color of the universe is beige.  The new color is now called “cosmic latte.”

What went wrong? And how did they come up with turquoise in the first place? First of all, scientists Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry gathered light from galaxies out to several billion light years. Next, they broke the light into the various colors of the spectrum. After this, they averaged the color values for all the light. This basic data about the average color of the universe was correct. The problem arose when the numerical data was converted into a color compatible with the perception of the human eye. The computer picked a nonstandard white from its electronic palette and mixed it with the other colors to come up with the turquoise. It was uncovered by color engineers who checked their data.

Glazebrook said “This is science. We’re not like politicians. If we make mistakes, we admit them. That’s how science works.”


Beyond green ketchup: Heavenly blue potatoes

Sky blue French fries from Heinz were the result of a market survey. Kids were asked what would make them eat more French fries and blue was the winner.

However, they were wrong about French fries. They failed and were pulled from the shelves.

“Kids already like the plain French fries,” said Marilyn Raymond, director with New Product Works, a Michigan-based product marketing consultancy. “Why try to make them friendlier to kids?”

In the meantime, Sales of Heinz’s other crazy colors — the green, purple, and pink ketchup — hit the bull’s eye for the company.


Byscenen – Sparkling Laminated Glass Gives New Life to Old Building

A place to gather for large events had long been sought after by locals in Trondheim, and in April 2010, their dreams were finally realized in Mid-Norway’s new concert venue, Byscenen.  Transforming old into new, the Sparebank1 SMN Cultural Foundation purchased the original site of the Workers’ Association in 2007 and immediately began plans for renovation.

Historic and modern elements came together beautifully in the new design for Byscenen. Architects added a superstructure and modern glass façade, but still managed to preserve the building’s original classic style. As a result, the Byscenen concert venue st ands as a unique and vibrant addition to its historic Trondheim surroundings.

The venue can hold an audience of up to 600 people on its two floors, the parquet and the gallery, and refreshments are only a short walk away from the stage. Byscenen h as housed a number of musical artists in all different genres, from rock to pop to jazz to world music and also can serve as a location for other events such as conventions, conferences, and classical concerts. With all that Byscenen has to offer, it won’t be long before it realizes its goal of becoming the leading stage in the country.

Om Byscenen

Project Category: Exterior

Project Name: Byscenen

Location: Trondheim, Norway

Glass Fabricator: Modem Glassindustri AS

Photographer credit: Mr. Tor Steinar Johansen

Architects: Studio 4 Arkitekter AS

Address: Kjøpmannsgata 25

7013 Trondheim

Phone: 73 53 69 10

Wolstein Research Center

Architect: Van Dijk Westlake Reed Leskosky Architects
Laminator: Standard Bent Glass Corp.

Remarkable innovations can be achieved when physicians and scientists collaborate. That’s exactly the goal at the Iris S. & Bert L. Wolstein Research Building, a biomedical research facility in the heart of the Case Western Reserve University. The extensive and creative use of glass welcomes physicians, scientists, and visitors alike and allows passerby to peer into the future of pioneering biomedical research.

The research facility features 332,000 square feet, is six stories tall with two additional floors below grade, and has the capacity for 900 research investigators. As built, the Wolstein Research Building locates lab areas at the front of all floors, with plenty of clear glass to let natural light in and give the public a glimpse into the research environment.  Offices and support space are located in the back half of the floor.  At the building’s main entrance canopy, a striking laminated glass tower, created with unique glass shapes made with Solutia® Inc.’s Vanceva®, Advanced Solutions for Glass™ brand colored, metallic and textured interlayers, stretches 140 feet skyward on steel frame to the building’s roof.

According to Sue Errera at Standard Bent Glass Corporation, “The use of sparkling decorative glass at the building’s entrance is a wonderful complement to the pioneering research being conducted within the research center. The distinctive pattern on the tower emulates a DNA pattern, and is made even more dramatic by the use of white and blue Vanceva interlayers, coupled with PPG Starfire and PPG Azurlite.”

The glass treatment at the main entrance is made up of 1,600 square feet of glass. None of the composite’ s 52 irregularly shaped pieces are alike. A striking color palette includes blues, greens and rose. The irregular pieces range in size from 60 to 130 inches with most one-half-inch thick (one-quarter inch over one-quarter inch ). “This was the best choice for the project because laminated glass offers the needed resiliency to stand up to its western exposure and will easily withstand the inherent sun, wind, dust and safety requirements,” added Errera.

Factoids Part 2: Color Preferences and Trends in the USA

Favorite Toothbrush Color- Blue (of course!) is America’s first choice for toothbrushes. Romantic lilac is the surprise runner-up.

Appliance Color – Almost two-thirds won’t shell out for a large appliance unless it comes in their preferred color.

Source: a study published in House & Garden magazine, March 2004

Nature’s Sunscreen: The Red Pigment of Autumn Leaves

Plant researchers Bill Hock, Eric Zeldin and Brent McCown of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while studying the fall color changes on trees, discovered that brilliant red pigments shade sensitive leaf tissue in fall while trees reabsorb nutrients from their leaves. They explained, “Trees need to store as many of those nutrients as they can before the leaves drop.” In actuality the red pigment produced by the leaves performs much the same important function as sunscreen on human skin.

As proof, consider how the outer leaves of maple trees are more colorful than shaded leaves inside the canopy and leaves on the north side. Professor Hock said that their conclusions also explain why most of our native maples and oaks in the Midwest and New England turn red, while European species such as the Norway maple do not. The absence of red leaves is the result of the cloudier and warmer weather in these locations during fall. Therefore, these species don’t need the protection of these pigments.

The meaning of red and green at Christmas… and why Santa wears red

Red and green mean it’s Christmas time. These colors might not tell the story of divine birth, but they do tell a story of the Christian past.

Green, experts say, might be a throwback to the pagan winter festivals when greenery was used. Also, green comes from the pine tree and the holly, which retain their color in winter.

The meaning of red is open to debate. People speculate that red represents the blood of Christ. It might also have to do with holly berries or the increased popularity of red in 19th century England and America.

The official liturgical colors of Christmas tend to be white and gold.

… and Santa?

Red may also represent the robe worn by Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas). However, historically, Saint Nicholas was just as likely to be portrayed in a blue, green or brown robe. (The Saint Nicholas in the illustration is from Prussia!)

In 1931, the Coca-Cola Company used its signature red color to dress Santa and market its products at Christmas.  Although this was not the first red-robed Saint Nicholas (a 1653 English woodcut portrays a red Santa ) it took this major marketing campaign to convince the world that Santa was a jolly old man in red suit.

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Source #2

A Fish That Glows Red

A little tropical fish that glows fluorescent red will be the first genetically engineered pet. A Texas-based biotech company unveiled plans to market the GloFish™ — a tropic al zebra fish infused with the gene of a sea anemone that makes it glow fluorescent red — touching off a debate over whether they pose a risk to the environment.
(Late-breaking news: California banned the importation of GloFish, December 4, 2003.)

Shining brilliantly in ultraviolet light and shining with bright fluorescence in regular light, GloFish fluorescent fish are born with their unique color and display these beautiful hues for life.

Web Source

The origin of green in US currency

In the US, paper currency was created 1862 to help pay for the Civil War. These Notes were printed in $5, $10, and $20 denominations, redeemable in coins on demand, and green in color–hence the name “greenbacks.”

No definite explanation can be made for the original choice; however, it is known that at the time of the introduction of small-sized notes in 1929, green was continued because pigment was readily available in large quantities. Also, the color was relatively high in its resistance to chemical and physical changes, and green was psychologically identified with the strong and stable credit of the Government.

Another fact: Coins date back to 600 BC in Lydia (now western Turkey); paper currency began in China around A.D. 800.


Redheads need 20% more painkillers

Red hair occurs on approximately 1–2% of the human population.  It occurs more frequently (2–6%) in people of northern or western European ancestry, and less frequently in other populations.

Red hair varies from a deep burgundy through burnt orange to bright copper. It is characterized by high levels of the reddish pigment pheomelanin and relatively low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin. The term redhead (originally redd hede) has been in use since at least 1510. It is associated with fair skin color, lighter eye colors (gray, blue, green, and hazel), freckles, and sensitivity to ultraviolet light.

A University of Washington in Louisville study reported that natural redheads are more susceptible to pain and need more anesthesia when they go under the knife than do people with other hair colors. This confirms what anesthesiologists have suspected all along – that redheads can be a little harder to put under than others.

Scientists explained that redheads have a “defective receptor” for melanin, a pigment responsible for tanning. These same melanocortin-1 receptor cross-reacts with a related receptor on brain cells that influences pain sensitivity. Ouch!

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Woermann Tower

Architects: Ábalos & Herreros, Casariega / Guerra
Rolling-Mill: Cricursa

The isthmus that joins the tiny peninsula of La Isleta to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, has taken on a new stance on color. Ferrovial Inmobiliaria, the project sponsor, offered to create a highly individual area for the island with the Woermann Tower. The tower looks across the city and the city looks towards the tower, hence it was necessary to create a building that would attract the gaze, with a high degree of originality; but at the same time its symbolic location also would demand that the project must fit in well with its surroundings. This goal has been achieved by virtue of its height, sinuous shapes and the yellow that illuminates its picture windows.

To bring the idea to reality, the Ábalos & Herreros architecture study team which worked on this project in collaboration with Canadian architects Joaquín Casariego and Elsa Guerra, decided to make use of laminated greenish-yellow glass windows, on the advice of Cricursa, so that the views from inside took on the greatest possible prominence, turning the tower into a “natural vantage point”, as its creators like to call it.

In order to give a more naturalistic appearance to the facade, the picture windows were also covered with serigraphies representing naturalistic ideas: “we would like to make a connection between the landscape and homes, and give life to the façade as being something not entirely passive”, the architects explained.

The use of lam inated glass in this project was required when dealing with a tall building. In practical terms, the choice of Vanceva® adds the qualities of the interlayers’ good adhesion and resistance to breakage and cracking to the benefits of traditional laminated glass, which helps improve security and safety of the property and of people. In addition, the wide range of colours and shades ensured that it would be easy to find just the colour the designers wanted.

The end-result is an imposing building designed to accommodate everything from homes to offices, a library, municipal information centre and a car-park. In all, the project comprises a residential towerblock 60 metres high with 14 floors. Inside, we find homes of various sizes, complemented by business premises, running up and down, private offices of the local authority and the library already mentioned. As it could hardly be otherwise, the homes are distinguished by an innovative style of design of highest quality, featuring a home-automation and home-management system.

True to the usual Ábalos & Herreros style, it was decided to opt for ceilings at a generous height – 4 metres, almost double the usual height – in homes overlooking the sea and city, using the Vanceva® colour. “Woermann Tower is a virtual forest, from which one can enjoy the pleasures of living immersed in a diverse landscape”, its creators observe poetically. The building is part of the Woermann project, which is complemented by a lovely square below, finished in Portuguese stonework, open towards the sea and closed off at the sides by two buildings.

In short, for the architects “Woermann Tower seeks to embody the illusions, desires and fantasies of a society that seeks to achieve an accommodation between naturalism and development, an intense way of life yet faithful to the landscape”.

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hotel: Laminated Glass Creates a Contemporary Style with a Touch of the Orient

View Mandarin Spa Project Profile

The atmosphere of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Spa is certainly one of relaxation, health and pleasure; the use of laminated glass in the design was fundamental in creating this serene mood and in helping the spa to win the interior category of the 2010 World of Color Awards by Vanceva.   A subtle chromatic palette and tasteful incorporation of the glass allows visitors to perceive an “oasis of tranquility” and also generates the spa’ s cri sp, contemporary style. Jury member Shashi Caan noted this in saying, “An elegant architectural interior, this project is beautiful.” This elegant use of laminated glass in conjunction with warm wood touches also creates a “spice of the orient” that makes the hotel spa so unique. Needless to say, both the architectural design and oriental-style therapeutic treatments at the M andarin Oriental Hotel Spa are anything but conventional.

One of the most significant aspects of the project is how the finished design interacts with both its environment and its visitors. As Jorge Remon of Control Glass noted, “Glazing design is the portal to transform the type of space or habitat; we are always thinking about the people who inhabit it.”

Project Category: Interior

Project Name: The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Glass Laminator: Control Glass (Union Vidriera Group)

Architect: Patricia Urquiola

Studio Urquiola

Address: p. le Libia, 5

20135 Milan, Italy

Phone:+39 02 87381848


“Color is all.   When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.”

~ Marc Chagall

Juror #2: Andrew Moor

Principal, Andrew Moor Associates, London
Andrew Moor Associates
14 Chamberlain Street
London, NW1 8XB
T: +44 207 586 8181

Andrew Moor is an ‘architectural glass art consultant’ specialist. He has been involved with the commissioning and project managing of glass art projects since 1983.

During the 1980’s, he worked with the artist Brian Clarke, organizing a number of large stained glass projects in large shopping centres. Some were more than 1,000 square metres, or 10,000 square feet in size. He also acted as the international agent of the legendary Derix Glass Studios of Weisbaden.

His first book, ‘Contemporary Stained Glass’, 1989, (US edition ‘Architectural Glass’) has sold over 35,000 copies world-wide and is widely thought to be a landmark work on the state of the art at that time.

His book, ‘Architectural Glass Art’, 1997, still available as a collector’s item on Amazon, documented many of the changing techniques and artistic styles beginning at that time.

His most recent book, ‘Colours of Architecture – Glass and Colour in Contemporary Buildings’, 2006, documents the more recent changes in both methods and usage of coloured glass by artists and architects throughout the world.

Andrew Moor acts both as a consultant and project manager for works in the retail, office, hotel, leisure and private sectors. He has lectured at architectural practices and at conferences and colleges for many years.  He has a unique understanding of what can be achieved with glass and how it can contribute to space and to the appearance of buildings both inside and out.

Factoids Part 1

Explore the world of colour with these amazing “factoids” about colour. You’ll find unusual snippets of information from the world of nature, vision, psychology, business, and from all dimensions of our lives.

Color Vision

Humans, apes, most old world monkeys, ground squirrels, and many species of fish, birds, and insects have well-developed color vision. However, it’s worth noting that 7 or 8 percent of human males are relatively or completely deficient in color vision.

Humans with the most common form of color-blindness and mammals with poor color vision are unable to differentiate between reds and greens. They see the world as a blend of blues, yellows, and greys.

Mammals with limited color vision or none at all include mice, rats, rabbits, cats, and dogs. Nocturnal animals – such as foxes, owls, skunks, and raccoons – whose vision is specialized for dim light seldom have good color vision. By comparison, humans are color-blind in dim light.

Source: David Hubel’s Eye Brain and Vision

More info about color vision -> Color Vision for Mice

Is there a correlation between car color and accidents?

Color is not used to calculate auto insurance rates. Information that is used includes the vehicle’s year, make, model, body type and engine size, as well as information about the driver. For instance, you’ll see high rates if you own a new blue 400-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette V-8 and have a poor driving record — but lower rates if you have a red Toyota Camry four-cylinder sedan and a good record.


The Color of Your Nails = The Quality of Your Health

Normally, nail beds are peachy-pink because of a healthy supply of blood into the finger tips and toes. When a diet deficiency or disease is present, sometimes the nail beds become discolored or malformed.
When nails are discolored (a color other than peachy-pink), this may be indicative of a diet deficiency or diabetes, allergies, or other diseases.  Bluish colored nails generally indicate a lack of oxygen in the blood.   This discoloration may be caused by lung disease, such as emphysema, or asthma.
Nails with a greenish color may indicate an infection in the nail bed or somewhere else within body.


Bananas get sunburned

If a banana’s skin shows dark brown or black spots, these are most likely sunburn spots and not necessarily a sign of over ripeness or rotting. If bananas suffer very long exposure to ultraviolet radiation during their growing period, they develop a tan in their own unique splotchy way.

How “eggplant” got its name?

The name eggplant, rather than aubergine, is used in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada and refers to the fruits of some 18th century European cultivars which were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs.

It bears a fruit of the same name, commonly used in cooking. As a nightshade, it is closely related to the tomato and potato and is native to India.

Different varieties of the plant produce fruit of different size, shape and color, though typically purple. There are even orange varieties.
Note: Aubergine is also the name of the purple color resembling that of the fruit and is a commonly known color scheme applied to articles as diverse as cloth or bathroom suites


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