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High Tech

Millennium Dome, Greenwich, London, Janet Hall / RIBA Collections

High Tech

Influenced by engineering and new technology

High Tech in architecture

Influenced by engineering and new technology, High Tech is a style that accentuates a building’s construction.

High Tech was a development in British Modernist architecture from the late 1960s. It was a concept of design, based on engineering, construction and other aspects, such as the manipulation of space. High Tech was marked by a preference for lightweight materials and sheer surfaces, a readiness to adopt new techniques from engineering and other technologies, and the celebratory display of a building’s construction and services.

Norman Foster and Richard Rogers were the key architects who brought about these changes and implemented them from the 1970s. High Tech buildings are characterised by exposed structures (usually of steel and or other metals), with services (pipes, air ducts, lifts etc.) often picked out in bright colours, a smooth, impervious skin (often of glass) and a flexibility to create internal service zones, rather than rooms or sequences of rooms.

Explore images of High Tech architecture

Search and discover photos and images from the RIBA Collections in our image library. Images are available to download, purchase or license.

Features of high tech architecture

Hopkins' House, Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the studio on the upper level

Flexible interiors

Schlumberger Research Laboratories, Cambridge

Expressed Construction

Leadenhall Building, City of London

Coloured pipework and services

Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich

Lightweight construction

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