Dezeen Magazine

Pink building called Huaxiang Church hall, China, by Inuce

Ten all-pink buildings to rival Barbie's Dreamhouse

Following the news that Airbnb has created a life-sized Dreamhouse in Malibu, we've rounded up 10 buildings that prove pink facades aren't just for dollhouses – from a Chinese church to a garden pavilion in Somaliland.

Much like Greta Gerwig's upcoming Barbie movie aims to reframe how we think about the world's most popular doll, the projects featured below bring Barbie's favourite colour into unexpected contexts to subvert expectations.

In Fuzhou, an all-pink extension was designed to make a 1930s church feel more youthful while in Beirut, architect Nathalie Harb used a stereotypically loud hue to paint a pavilion meant for quiet contemplation.

Elsewhere, on the British Isles, a number of residential projects nodded to the colourful architecture of Mexico and the Mediterranean in the hopes of approximating their sunny atmosphere.

Read on for ten examples of nonconformist pink buildings from across the globe.

Seabreeze house by RX Architects
Photo by Richard Chivers

Seabreeze, UK, by RX Architects

The location of this holiday home in a designated conservation area on Camber Sands beach in East Sussex prevented RX Architects from experimenting with its scale and massing.

Instead, the British studio set out to create a sense of fun – and soften the building's overall visual impact – by adding pink pigments to its concrete finish.

"The pink is reminiscent of traditional Mediterranean beach houses with their natural pink plastered elevations," founder Rob Pollard told Dezeen.

Find out more about Seabreeze ›

Glossier Los Angeles, USA, by Glossier design team
Photo by Glossier

Glossier Los Angeles, USA, by Glossier design team

One of the most well-known brands behind the millennial-pink frenzy of the mid-2o1os, Glossier recently opened a new store on Melrose Avenue following the closure of its previous Los Angeles outpost during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company's signature rosey colour palette extends across the entire shopfront, all the way down to the dramatically oversized signage embedded into the facade, which the team described as "the Glossier version of the Hollywood sign".

Find out more about Glossier Los Angeles ›

His and Her Houses by Wutopia Labs
Photo by CreatAR Images

His House and Her House, China, by Wutopia Lab

This installation, created by Wutopia Lab for the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in Shenzhen, explores themes around gender expression and gender roles.

As part of the event, the Chinese studio painted a pair of houses in contrasting pink and blue, filling one with meat and the other with flowers in a bid to question binary concepts of femininity and masculinity.

Find out more about His House and Her House ›

Huaxiang Christian Centre by Dirk U. Moench
Photo by Shi Kai

Huaxiang Church hall, China, by Inuce

Architecture studio Inuce set out to reflect the increasingly younger demographic of this church in Fuzhou when designing a new addition to the original 1930s building to house its growing congregation.

In this spirit, the fresh-faced extension (top and above) features a zigzagging roofline – with an amphitheatre for open-air services nestled amongst its inverted gables – while the walls are finished in pink pebbledash.

"This energetic and youthful colour complements the well-aged gravity of the old church's granite blocks and expresses the generational change in the congregation's development," Inuce principal Dirk U Moench told Dezeen.

Find out more about Huaxiang Church ›

Enrico Fermi School by BDR bureau
Photo by Simone Bossi

Enrico Fermi School, Italy, by BDR Bureau

A pink-painted steel frame extends from the exterior facade of this renovated 1960s school building in Turin to accommodate a number of plant-filled open-air classrooms.

Adobe plaster in the same pastel hue was also applied to the existing building as part of a makeover by local firm BDR Bureau that also included the addition of a gym, auditorium and library.

Find out more about Enrico Fermi School ›

Nathalie Harb's Silent Room at Beirut Design Week
Photo by Raintree

Silent Room, Lebanon, by Nathalie Harb and BÜF

Lebanese designer Nathalie Harb hoped to subvert expectations around pink being a loud colour when designing the Silent Room pavilion for Beirut Design Week.

The painted wooden structure provided a quiet place that visitors could access alone and for free, for up to 30 minutes at a time, acknowledging that silence in urban environments is often a privilege of the wealthy.

"The colour pink is a soothing colour," Harb told Dezeen. "Its hue is the closest to the skin or images of the embryo."

"And it is somehow a colour unexpected for silence, usually associated with more austere colours."

Find out more about Silent Room ›

Courtyard Pavilion, Somaliland, by Rashid Ali Architects
Photo by Lyndon Douglas

Courtyard Pavilion, Somaliland, by Rashid Ali Architects

A "miniature botanical garden" filled with native plants is sheltered at the centre of this pavilion in Hargeisa, whose concrete canopy is tinged in the same hue as the region's reddish-pink sands.

Local studio Rashid Ali Architects conceived the structure as a homage to the civic role of trees in Somaliland, as "a space where stories are shared, ceremonies are held and disputes are settled".

Find out more about Courtyard Pavilion ›

Pink House, Vietnam, by 23o5studio

Pink House, Vietnam, by 23o5studio

Two sisters cohabit inside this house in the Vietnamese city of Long Xuyen. The duo was also responsible for choosing the subtle pink hue of the pebble-wash walls, which feature on both the inside and outside of the building.

The home's connection to the outdoors is further reinforced via a series of planted patios and geometric openings, such as the circular void on top of the private swimming pool.

Find out more about Pink House ›

Exterior of Pink House by Courtney McDonnell Studio
Photo by Peter Molloy

Pink House, Ireland, by Courtney McDonnell Studio

Clad in a pink sand-and-cement render, this extension to a 1930s suburban home belonging to a pair of travel lovers in Dublin was designed to embody the colourful approach of late Mexican architect Luis Barragán.

"We loved the idea of adding a coloured tone to the extension that would be unexpected and playful, but also add welcomed warmth against the typical grey Irish sky," architect Courtney McDonnell told Dezeen.

Find out more about Pink House ›

Quinta Amores, Mexico, by Ian Pablo Amores
Photo by César Béjar

Quinta Amores, Mexico, by Ian Pablo Amores

The distinctive blush pink shade of this boutique hotel in San Miguel de Allende was custom-made and mixed on-site to match both the region's sunny climate and its Spanish colonial buildings.

"I made around 15 samples of colour and I saw that this type of pink was very special with the natural light of the site," architect Ian Pablo Amores told Dezeen.

Find out more about Quinta Amores ›