Last edited 30 Nov 2020

High-tech architecture

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'High-tech' is an architectural style that incorporates elements of the new high-tech industries and advanced construction techniques into building design. Also known as 'late modernism' or 'structural expressionism', it emerged in the 1970s as a response to a growing disillusionment with modern architecture that was felt to have produced monotonous, standardised structures.

High-tech often seen as being the link between modernism and postmodernism. Developed out of modernism, high-tech attached importance to the object itself rather than the object being a functional use of space. It aimed to achieve a new industrial aesthetic, inspired by technological progress and the computerisation of industry.

It sought to integrate the technical equipment of the building into its structure, marrying functionality with its aesthetics. This would be taken further by architects such as Richard Rogers on buildings such as Lloyds of London and the Centre Pompidou in a style that was sometimes referred to as 'bowellism', based on the idea that the greatest amount of free floor space could be maintained by externalising building services.

Some of the most well-known architects identified with the high-tech style are Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, Michael Hopkins, and Jean Nouvel.

Some of the most well-known examples of high-tech buildings are:

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