This is a guest post from Antonina of OpenBuildings – a community-driven and openly editable encyclopaedia of buildings from around the world. It’s a database of historic, contemporary and conceptual architecture that exists as a website and application for iPhone (and any moment now – Android) which enable users to find, learn about and share nearby buildings of architectural merit.

Until recently, the furthest architects would habitually take colour exploration would be seen in children-oriented buildings, while “serious” and “representative” edifices would stick to the proven elegance of black & white aesthetics and thoughtful use of natural materials. The reasons for the above-mentioned phenomenon could perhaps be attributed to the modernist legacy of subtly despising decoration. However, colour and light are inseparable and both possess an impressive potential to influence mood, behaviour and perception. La Defense Offices: a 23.000 m² ode to iridescence, whose colours and brilliance depend strongly on weather and light conditions was ‘designed with the office tenants in mind’ and sets a wonderful example of how architecture – armed with understanding and appreciation of colour – can create a refreshing and surprising environment for routine activities. Hopefully, today’s pick of colour-inspired buildings will be able to light up your day too!

Jean Nouvel: Hotel Puerta America in Madrid, Spain

Hotel Puerta America by Jean Nouvel & others

MVRDV: Didden Village in Rotterdam, Netherlands

MVRDV: Didden Village in Rotterdam, Netherlands

UN Studio: La Defense Offices in Almere, Netherlands

UN Studio: La Defense Offices in Almere, Netherlands

Rojkind Arquitectos: Nestlé Application Group Building in Querétaro, Mexico

Rojkind Arquitectos: Nestlé Application Group Building  in Querétaro, Mexico

Rudanko + Kankkunen: Sra Pou Vocational School in Sra Pou village, Cambodia

Rudanko + Kankkunen: Sra Pou Vocational School in Sra Pou village, Cambodia

Asymptote Architecture: The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Asymptote Architecture: The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Neutelings Riedijk: Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, The Netherlands

Neutelings Riedijk: Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, The Netherlands

Luis Barragán: Cuadra San Cristóbal near Mexico City, Mexico 

Luis Barragán: Cuadra San Cristóbal near Mexico City, Mexico

D. Villanueva Arquitectos: Rioglass Solar Production Plant in Pola de Lena, Spain

D. Villanueva Arquitectos: Rioglass Solar Production Plant in Pola de Lena, Spain

Kengo Kuma & Associates: The Opposite House in Beijing, China

Kengo Kuma & Associates: The Opposite House in Beijing, China