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High Tech Style Guide

High Tech architecture celebrates and accentuates a building’s construction. It is characterised by lightweight materials, steel and glass, transparent walls, exposed beams and cables and service areas, often picked out in bright colours. Interiors are flexible and spacious.

What to look for in a High Tech building:

  • Steel and Glass
  • Flexible Interiors
  • Expressed Construction
  • Bright Colours
  • Lightweight Materials

Explore these galleries from the RIBA Collections illustrating the main features of High Tech.

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Factory units in Queen's Drive, Castle Park, Nottingham

RIBA25364
Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners

British Pavilion, Expo '92, Seville, at dusk

RIBA34538
Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners

The Point, Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes

RIBA89814
Building Design Partnership
NOTES: This was designed as an entertainment centre comprising 10 cinemas, a restaurant, a bingo hall and discotheque.

Leadenhall Building, City of London: detail of a steel support

RIBA93847
Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
NOTES: The building is known colloquially as the 'Cheesegrater'.

Leadenhall Building, City of London: the washrooms

RIBA93857
Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
NOTES: The building is known colloquially as the 'Cheesegrater'. The building services are located in a separate service tower, which is characterised by bright yellow steelwork.

Leadenhall Building, City of London: inside a lift shaft looking down, at the rear of the building

RIBA93867
Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
NOTES: The building is known colloquially as the 'Cheesegrater'. The building services are located in a separate service tower, which is characterised by bright yellow steelwork.

Leadenhall Building, City of London: the ventilation shafts at street level

RIBA93911
Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
NOTES: The building is known colloquially as the 'Cheesegrater'.

Leadenhall Building, City of London: the entrance foyer

RIBA93921
Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
NOTES: The building is known colloquially as the 'Cheesegrater'.

Swiss Re, 30 St Mary Axe, City of London

RIBA105255
Foster & Partners
NOTES: Known colloquially as The Gherkin.
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