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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 extension for Bespak Industries Ltd., North Industrial Estate, King's Lynn, Norfolk: the open-plan offices

RIBA109569
Cambridge Design
NOTES: See RIBA109529 for a black and white version of this image.

Ludwig Erhard House (Berlin Stock Exchange), Berlin

RIBA113533
Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners

Department X shop, for Next, 189 Oxford Street, London

RIBA6310
Crampin & Pring
NOTES: The interior designers of the shop were Din Associates and the building itself was designed by Crampin & Pring.

Conference Pavilion, Wavendon Tower, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

RIBA43447
Milton Keynes Development Corporation. Architects Department
NOTES: Milton Keynes, which incorporated the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford along with another fifteen villages and farmland in between, was designated a new town in 1967 and planning control was thus taken from elected local authorities and delegated to the Milton Keynes Development Corporation (MKDC). This building has been demolished.

Schreiber factory, Astmoor Industrial Estate, Runcorn: a meeting area

RIBA88484
Brock Carmichael Associates
NOTES: This factory for the Schreiber Furniture Company was completed in two phases, the empty shell by 1974 and the finished factory by 1978. The job architect at Runcorn was Peter Carmichael, who went on to complete the factory as partner in the practice Brock Carmichael Associates. The interior steel trusses, external steel supports were painted bright yellow with the plastic seating coloured to match.

Schlumberger, Montrouge, Paris: the open-plan offices

RIBA118122
Atelier Piano
NOTES: This is a conversion and rehabilitation of early 20th-century industrial buildings on a 8 hectare site in the Montrouge suburb of Paris into accommodation for offices, light engineering and laboratory use.
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