Reliance Controls “dissolved traditional boundaries” says Norman Foster

In this exclusive Dezeen video interview created as part of our high-tech architecture series, British architect Norman Foster reflects on his first high-tech building and how it shaped offices to come. Named after the electronics manufacturer that commissioned the building, Reliance Controls was an industrial facility located in Swindon in south west England. Completed in 1967, the building […]

Michael and Patty Hopkins took high-tech architecture to historical settings

We continue our high-tech architecture series with a profile of Michael and Patty Hopkins, who designed one of the movement’s most pragmatic buildings – Hopkins House – and went on to develop historicist high-tech architecture. High-tech architecture, a style that emerged in the UK in the late 1960s and saw the expression of structural elements, had many contradictions. It often […]

The Willis Faber & Dumas building is a revolutionary high-tech office

We continue or high-tech architecture series by looking at Foster Associates’ Willis Faber & Dumas building, a revolutionary office block in Ipswich, which was completed in 1975. Built as the headquarters of insurance company Willis Faber & Dumas, the three-storey block occupies its entire site and is wrapped in a glass curtain wall that reflects the […]

“High-tech was a supreme toys-for-the-boys moment”

Continuing our high-tech architecture series, Catherine Slessor looks at how the women in Team 4 helped shape the narrative of the movement. All architecture is a leap into an unknowable future, but how will history regard high-tech? As a movement, it now does seem more like an ending than a beginning; a rarified sub-stratum of architectural […]

Hopkins’ Portcullis House demonstrated that high-tech could be adapted to historic settings

Next up in our high-tech architecture guide, we look at Portcullis House in London, which demonstrated how the style could be used in historically sensitive locations. Built opposite the Palace of Westminster, Portcullis House is an office building designed by Michael and Patty Hopkins’ studio, now called Hopkins Architects, as offices for the UK Parliament. The […]

Herman Miller Factory was a flexible, non-monumental high-tech factory

We continue our high-tech architecture series by looking at the highly flexible and adaptable Herman Miller Factory in Bath, which was designed by Terry Farrell and Nicholas Grimshaw in 1976. The factory for the furniture company was one of many high-tech buildings, including the Park Road Apartments completed by Farrell Grimshaw Partnership six years earlier, which was designed […]

Renzo Piano’s Kansai airport has a mile-long high-tech terminal

Next in our high-tech architecture series is Renzo Piano‘s Kansai International Airport, which was built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay. The high-tech architecture movement, of which the Italian architect Piano was a key proponent, was defined by buildings that utilised the latest developments in technology and industrial design. Japan‘s Kansai International Airport, with its asymmetrical clear-span […]

Crystal Palace was “birth of modern architecture” says Norman Foster

British architect Norman Foster has revealed that if he could visit any building from history, it would be Crystal Palace, which he cites as a major influence on high-tech architecture. Speaking to Dezeen during an interview for our high-tech architecture series, Foster explained that the modular iron and glass building designed by Joseph Paxton would […]

Foster’s HSBC building in Hong Kong is a revolutionary high-tech skyscraper

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Headquarters was a ground-breaking skyscraper and established Norman Foster as a global brand. We take a look at the high-rise bank as part of our high-tech architecture series. Designed with the simple brief of creating “the best bank headquarters in the world”, the forty-four-storey skyscraper for HSBC set Foster’s studio […]

Renzo Piano is the Italian high-tech architect

Renzo Piano designed one of high-tech architecture’s seminal buildings – the Centre Pompidou. Continuing our high-tech architecture series we profile the Italian architect who was a key figure in the largely British-led movement. Piano would tell you that he doesn’t have a signature style, that he finds the idea of it inhibiting. He likes to treat every project as […]

Norman Foster’s Stansted Airport “challenged all the rules of terminal design”

Thirty-six structural trees support the roof of Stansted Airport by Norman Foster‘s studio, which is the next project in our high-tech architecture series. At London’s Stansted Airport, British firm Foster Associates, which is now Foster + Partners, turned the typical airport layout upside-down by placing all of the heavy environmental services underground, instead of on the rooftop. […]

Inmos Microprocessor Factory is Richard Rogers’ high-tech factory prototype

We continue our guide to high-tech architecture by looking at the Inmos Microprocessor Factory, a key example of Richard Rogers‘ radical inside-out buildings. Completed in 1982 in Newport, Wales, the Inmos Microprocessor Factory is a highly-flexible single-storey steel structure that was conceived as a prefabricated kit of parts that could be constructed anywhere. It contains […]

“High-tech is ever edging away from its ecological and humanistic roots”

High-tech architecture has strayed far from its environmentally conscientious beginnings, but could rise again if it returns to them, writes Phineas Harper. The Sainsbury Centre in Norwich weighs 5,618.6 tons. We know this because, when its architect, Norman Foster, took his former mentor Richard Buckminster Fuller to visit the project, the internationally-celebrated inventor and godfather […]

Anthony Hunt is the high-tech architect’s engineer

Anthony Hunt worked with architects Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Michael and Patty Hopkins and Nicholas Grimshaw to engineer some of high-tech’s greatest buildings. We continue our high-tech architecture series with a profile of the influential engineer. High-tech architecture’s pioneers had their stylistic differences, collaborations and contestations, but they can almost all be united by a […]

The Lloyd’s building is Richard Rogers’ first high-tech office block

Continuing our high-tech architecture series, we take a look at the inside-out Lloyd’s building in London, Richard Rogers‘ second major building following Centre Pompidou. One of the 1980s most recognisable pieces of architecture, the Lloyd’s building demonstrates many of the key traits of the high-tech architecture style that emerged in the UK in the late 1960s. The […]

Norman Foster’s Renault Distribution Centre is high-tech architecture’s most flamboyant structure

Next in our high-tech architecture series is Norman Foster‘s Renault Distribution Centre in Swindon, one of the most expressive and distinctive examples of the style. Completed in 1982 by Foster Associates, which became Foster + Partners, the Renault Distribution Centre was the main UK distribution facility for French car manufacturer Renault. With its expressed structure it […]

Nicholas Grimshaw maintained his high-tech ideals for 50 years

We continue our high-tech architecture series with a profile of Nicholas Grimshaw, who has stayed true to his tech-tech ideals over a career spanning more than 50 years. Nicholas Grimshaw is the details man of high-tech architecture, a style that emerged in the 1960s and emphasises and celebrates structural and circulation elements. His buildings tell the story […]

Park Road Apartments is a radical housing tower clad in “ridiculous” metal

Terry Farrell and Nicholas Grimshaw built Park Road Apartments, which contained their own homes, in the 1970s. We continue our high-tech architecture series by looking at the metal-clad housing block. Working together as the Farrell Grimshaw Partnership, the architects completed the Park Road Apartments’ high-rise housing block in 1970. The pioneering building demonstrated many of the attributes of […]

Four key projects by high-tech architecture practice Team 4

As Team 4, Su Brumwell, Richard Rogers, Wendy Cheesman and Norman Foster began to develop high-tech architecture. Continuing our series on the style we look at four key projects. Yale School of Architecture graduates Rogers, Brumwell, Foster and Cheesman – along with Cheesman’s sister Georgie Wolton, who was the only qualified architect in the group but […]

Hopkins House – a high-tech home

Hopkins House was designed by Michael and Patty Hopkins as their own home. We take a look at the lightweight steel and glass house as part of our series on high-tech architecture. Completed in 1976 in the north London suburb of Hampstead, Hopkins House was the first project designed by the husband-and-wife team. The two-storey, lightweight steel […]

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