High-Tech, also called Structural Expressionism, is a style concerned with the display of a structure’s construction and services.
High Tech Characteristics
High-Tech buildings have distinctive, exposed structures made of steel and other metals, which expose pipes and air ducts. Often a smooth, impervious skin made of glass is present and a flexibility in the creation of internal service zones, rather than rooms or sequences of rooms.
Norman Foster, after graduating from Manchester University School of Architecture and City Planning, won a Henry Fellowship to Yale University, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Architecture.
In the early 1970s, Foster had his big break when he designed the Willis Faber & Dumas headquarters in Ipswich, which was a low-rise office structure known for its employment of escalators, contoured facades and idyllic, natural-oriented inner spaces. Later, Foster and his team worked on the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation headquarters, which was a modern edifice with three towers. In the early 2000s, Foster also contributed to the iconic New York City skyline with his design of the Hearst Tower.
Following German reunification, two close rotations in Parliament confirmed the relocation of the capital to Berlin, and the Reichstag hosting the German parliament, or Bundestag. In 1992, Foster was one of fourteen non-German firms called to participate in a design contest for rehabilitating the Reichstag building.
Additional High-Tech Architects
Richard George Rogers, is a British architect known for his modernist and functionalist concepts in high-tech architecture.
“Centre Georges Pompidou,” one of Roger’s works, took his name from the initiative of the French President Georges Pompidou. However, it is often called the Beaubourg due to the area where it is today. This is a large particular building, home to a multicultural center and a museum of modern arts. The project involved three different architects: Renzo Piano, Gianfranco Franchini, and Richard Rogers.
Renzo Piano, born to a family of builders, always wanted to be an architect. Young Piano had interest in buildings and, thus, learned the use of space. Moreover, he studied at the Milan Polytechnic and worked there with important architects. Additionally, he designed buildings all over the world, including the San Nicola Soccer Stadium, the Kansai International Airport Terminal and the Auditorium Parco della Musica.
The main features of high-tech style furniture are:
- Simple shapes
- Tubular structures on the outside
- Luminous spaces
- Functional designs