High-Tech (1970s-Today)

High-Tech, also called Structural Expressionism, is a style concerned with the display of a structure’s construction and services.

The Lloyd's building in London, by Richard Rogers.
The Lloyd’s building in London, by Richard Rogers.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/86f92fd5-5d8a-4315-8d47-bd97142beb68 by Loco Steve

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.

Sainsbury centre for visual arts.
Sainsbury centre for Visual Arts

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/6a7e7e11-4af7-4a8e-939b-ad6b07324206 by Oxyman

Norman Foster

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.

Photo of the HSBC Building, in Hong Kong.
HSBC Building (Hong Kong).

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/3dcf07e1-dfae-465b-9a7a-954d0d1fbdda by TravelingOtter

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.

City Hall (GLA Building), London.
City Hall (GLA Building), London

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/b051fd3b-85c1-4110-baf4-c98e6f4067e7 by stevecadman

Additional High-Tech Architects

Richard George Rogers, is a British architect known for his modernist and functionalist concepts in high-tech architecture.

Photo portraying Richard Rogers.
Richard Rogers

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/b87ec111-aaa8-48a3-9604-43953ad5c50d by 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia

“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.

Le centre national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou (Paris).
Pompidou Centre (1971-77) Piano and Rogers

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/63f29538-e04f-4c61-8fe7-72ba62481505 by dalbera

Piano + Rogers, Pompidou Centre, Paris, 1971-77. Colour-coded external services.
Pompidou Centre (1971-77)

image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/bbb51765-f73b-480a-93b5-023fa893a1e9 by stevecadman

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.

Photo of the Kansai International Airport Terminal.
The Kansai International Airport Terminal

 Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/7dc53dfb-7111-4163-9462-9a4dec68bba5 by Lmadcap

Photo of the Auditorium Parco della Musica, Roma, from the outside. On the foreground, some bushes arranged in a circle, with blossomed red flowers in it.
Auditorium Parco Della Musica in Rome

 Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/3486a6dd-20cd-4f55-ac47-80a3ad903509 by Albarubescens

High-Tech Furniture

The main features of high-tech style furniture are:

  • Simple shapes
  • Metal
  • Tubular structures on the outside
  • Luminous spaces
  • Functional designs

Info source:

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