High-tech architecture

High-tech architecture, also known as Structural Expressionism, is a type of Late Modern architectural style that emerged in the 1970s, incorporating elements of high-tech industry and technology into building design. High-tech architecture appeared as revamped modernism, an extension of those previous ideas helped by even more technological advances. This category serves as a bridge between modernism and post-modernism; however, there remain gray areas as to where one category ends and the other begins. In the 1980s, high-tech architecture became more difficult to distinguish from post-modern architecture. Some of its themes and ideas were later absorbed into the style of Neo-Futurism art and architectural movement.

Like Brutalism, Structural Expressionist buildings reveal their structure on the outside as well as the inside, but with visual emphasis placed on the internal steel and/or concrete skeletal structure as opposed to exterior concrete walls. In buildings such as the Pompidou Centre[dubious – discuss], this idea of revealed structure is taken to the extreme, with apparently structural components serving little or no structural role. In this case, the use of “structural” steel is a stylistic or aesthetic matter.

The style’s premier practitioners include Colombo-American architect Bruce Graham and Bangladeshi-American architect Fazlur Rahman Khan for the John Hancock Centre, Willis Tower and Onterie Center, British architects Norman, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, Sir Richard Rogers, Sir Michael Hopkins, Italian architect Renzo Piano and Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, known for his organic, skeleton-like designs. Early high-tech buildings were referred to by historian Reyner Banham as “serviced sheds” due to their exposure of mechanical services in addition to the structure. Most of these early examples used exposed structural steel as their material of choice. As hollow structural sections had only become widely available in the early 1970s, high-tech architecture saw much experimentation with this material.

Buildings in this architectural style were constructed mainly in North America and Europe. It is deeply connected with what is called the Second School of Chicago which emerged after World War II. The main content is that the technological kind of construction, mostly with steel and glass, is expressed in a formal independent way to gain aesthetic qualities from it. The first proper example are the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

The style got its name from the book High Tech: The Industrial Style and Source Book for The Home, written by design journalists Joan Kron and Suzanne Slesin and published in November 1978 by Clarkson N. Potter, New York. The book, illustrated with hundreds of photos, showed how designers, architects, and homeowners were appropriating classic industrial objects—library shelving, chemical glass, metal deck plate, restaurant supply, factory and airport runway light fixtures, movers’ quilts, industrial carpeting etc.—found in industrial catalogues and putting these to use in residential settings. The foreword to the book by architect Emilio Ambasz, former curator of design at the Museum of Modern Art, put the trend in historical context.

As a result of the publicity and popularity of the book, the decorating style became known as “High-Tech”, and accelerated the entry of the still-obscure term “high-tech” into everyday language. In 1979, the term high-tech appeared for the first time in a New Yorker magazine cartoon showing a woman berating her husband for not being high-tech enough: “You’re middle-, middle-, middle-tech.” After Esquire excerpted Kron and Slesin’s book in six installments, mainstream retailers across the United States, beginning with Macy’s New York, started featuring high-tech decor in windows and in furniture departments. But credit should go to a shop on 64th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York, Ad Hoc Housewares, which opened in 1977, for marketing these objects to a residential audience before anyone else. The book went on to be reprinted in England, France, and Japan, and like the original, each edition included a directory of local sources for the objects.

The high-tech architecture was, in some ways, a response to growing disillusionment with modern architecture. The realization of Le Corbusier’s urban development plans led to cities with monotonous and standardized buildings. Enthusiasm for economic building led to extremely low-quality finishes, with subsequent degradation countering a now-waning aesthetic novelty. High-tech architecture created a new aesthetic in contrast with standard modern architecture. In High Tech: The Industrial Style and Source Book for The Home, when discussing the high-tech aesthetic, the authors emphasized using elements “your parents might find insulting”. This humor so aptly demonstrates the rebellious attitude.

Kron and Slesin further explain the term “high-tech” as one being used in architectural circles to describe an increasing number of residences and public buildings with a “nuts-and-bolts, exposed-pipes, technological look”. A prime example of this is the Centre Pompidou in Paris. This highlights one of the aims of high-tech architecture, to show the technical elements of the building by externalizing them. Thus, the technical aspects create the building’s aesthetic.

For interior design, there was a trend of using formerly industrial appliances as household objects, e.g. chemical beakers as vases for flowers. This was because of an aim to use an industrial aesthetic. This was assisted by the conversion of former industrial spaces into residential spaces. High-tech architecture aimed to give everything an industrial appearance.

Another aspect to the aims of high-tech architecture was that of a renewed belief in the power of technology to improve the world. This is especially evident in Kenzo Tange’s plans for technically sophisticated buildings in Japan’s post-war boom in the 1960s, but few of these plans actually became buildings. High-tech architecture aimed to achieve a new industrial aesthetic, spurred on by the renewed faith in the progression of technology.

But however prominent the industrial look appeared, the functional element of modern architecture was very much retained. The pieces still served a purpose in the building’s function. The function of the building was also aimed as not being set. This dynamic property means that a building should be a “catalyst”, the “technical services are provided but do not become set.”

A structure of high-tech architecture have varied somewhat, yet all have accentuated technical elements. They included the prominent display of the building’s technical and functional components, and an orderly arrangement and use of pre-fabricated elements. Glass walls and steel frames were also immensely popular.

To boast technical features, they were externalized, often along with load-bearing structures. There can be no more illustrious example than Pompidou Centre. The ventilation ducts are all prominently shown on the outside. This was a radical design, as previous ventilation ducts would have been a component hidden on the inside of the building. The means of access to the building is also on the outside, with the large tube allowing visitors to enter the building.

The orderly and logical fashion in which buildings in the high-tech architectural style are designed to keep to their functional essence is demonstrated in Norman Foster’s Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank HQ. Besides the technology being the overriding feature of the building, its design is very much functionally orientated. The large interior open space and the easy access to all floors enhance the function of being a bank. Also, the elements of the buildings are very neatly composed to achieve optimal orderliness in order to logically solve the problem of the needs of a bank. This can be seen in the levels’ structure and in the escalators.

The high-tech buildings make persistent use of glass curtain walls and steel structure. It is greatly indebted to modern architecture for this, and influenced by Mies van der Rohe’s highrise buildings. Bruce Graham’s Willis Tower demonstrates that with glass walls and skeleton pipe structure of steel, a very tall building can be built. Many high-tech buildings meant their purposes to be dynamic. This could best be explained by Günther Behnisch and Frei Otto’s Munich Olympic Stadium. This structure made sport in the open possible and is meant to be used for many purposes. Originally an abandoned airfield, it is now a sports stadium, used for various disciplines.

Buildings designed in this style usually consist of a clear glass façade, with the building’s network of support beams exposed behind it. Perhaps the most famous and easily recognized building built in this style is I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. The World Trade Center in New York City, although generally considered to be an International Style building, was technically a Structural Expressionist design due to its load-bearing steel frame.[

Use of high-tech
In the early 1970s, for the first time hollow, structural structural steel could be used as a building material , so much was experimented with this material at that time. Therefore, most early examples of high-tech architecture used exposed structural steel as the material of choice.

In the meantime, high-tech materials from aviation , aerospace or energy technology are being integrated and ecological solutions worked out with scientists – such as the Reichstag dome in Berlin by Norman Foster . Here also controllable facades for the ventilation of large glass buildings play a role (for example, the debis house in Berlin). For membranes and outer shells, examples from the animal kingdom were used, such as the construction of the dolphin skin .

Use of prefabricated components
For buildings of high-tech architecture, components and entire building systems based on modern technologies with precision engineering are industrially prefabricated in a simple aesthetic, in order to assemble them in the construction. Preference is given to industrial manufacturing methods using glass, metal or plastic – as “clean” building materials. In the high-tech architecture, interchangeable modules were used for the first time (“plug-in elements”) to reduce the maintenance costs for wearing parts.

Presentation of the technology
As with brutalism , the high-tech architecture emphasizes the structure of the building. But in contrast to the emphasis on concrete exterior walls in brutalism, glass facades and steel structures are typical features of high-tech buildings. This has its roots in modern architecture and has been influenced by Mies van der Rohe’s skyscrapers, such as the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments in Chicago . Built in 1974 as Sears Tower, Willis Tower by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill showed that very tall buildings can be constructed of glass facades and a skeletal structure.

The technology in a building is deliberately presented in the high-tech architecture. In the process, technical elements and design details are emphasized – for example, by the visual highlighting of technical and functional components of a building (in some cases also by their oversizing).

For example, the high-tech architecture reveals the inner steel or concrete structures as well as the technical equipment in order to give it a visual focus. The fascination with technology led to the aestheticization of technical construction types – for example in the form of visible structures and supply systems. From these points of view, monumental “building machines” emerged, such as the Lloyds Building in London (1979-1984) (see picture). The most famous example of this is the Center Pompidou (1971-1977). Here, the idea of the revealed structure is taken to extremes – with seemingly structural components that play little or no role in the structure. In this case, the use of structural steel serves a stylistic or aesthetic purpose. The pipes for the ventilation system are also clearly visible on the outside of the building. This was a radical design because earlier such facilities were hidden in the building. The access routes have also been highlighted and run in separate tubes (see picture).

The systematic and consistent way buildings are designed in high-tech architectural style to preserve their functional nature is also evident in Norman Foster’s HSBC Main Building (Hong Kong) (see picture).

High-Tech Architecture and Landscape Architecture
There are also buildings of high-tech architecture that specialize in the landscape and integrate local references. A prominent example of this is the Munich Olympic Park in 1972: Already the first drafts showed that here dominate organic forms that blend gently into the terrain. On the disused airfield in the north of Munich , the Behnisch & Partner office, in cooperation with a landscape architect, developed a site in which landscape and architecture merge to create “sports in the countryside”. For this purpose, a lake was created, thousands of trees planted, functionally important parts of the building laid underground, and sports facilities embedded in terrain caves (see picture).

To blur the transition between inside and outside, permeable scaffolding constructions have been designed. In cooperation with the architect Frei Otto , transparent, large-surface roofs were created that were stretched like nets over the facilities. They let the daylight shine through and at the same time provide protection against bad weather. Thus, the Olympic facilities in Munich’s Olympic Park are a special form of high-tech architecture in which landscape and organic forms of architecture through high-tech elements form a harmonious connection.

High-tech architecture was in some ways an answer to the growing disenchantment with modern architecture . The desire for low-cost real estate has resulted in buildings of modern architecture more and more often inferior versions, quality loss and a less aesthetic appearance. The high-tech architecture created a new aesthetic that stood in contrast to the average modern architecture. When discussing high-tech aesthetics in the High Tech: The Industrial Style and Source Book for The Home book , the authors underline that components are being used that parents would find impossible. This pointed remark illustrates the underlying rebellious attitude.

Kron and Slesin further explain that the term “high-tech” is used in architectural circles to designate the increasing number of residential and public buildings that have been designed in a practical way – with exposed pipes and a technological look (“nuts”). and-bolts, exposed-pipes, technological look ” ). The Center Pompidou is a good example of this, because it highlights one of the central aims of high-tech architecture: it brags about the technical elements of the building by revealing them. Thus, the technical aspects create the aesthetics of the building.

The high-tech architecture aims to give everything an industrial appearance. The interior design trend has been to use industrial objects in the home, such as beakers as flower vases. This trend towards industrial aesthetics was encouraged by the transformation of industrial space into living space.

No matter how dominant the industrial look of buildings is, the principle of functionality (a legacy of modern architecture) has always been retained. The ingredients are actually always a purpose. At the same time, however, the type of use of the building should not be fixed: A building should provide all technical services that are necessary for a diverse, open use ( “technical services are provided but do not become set” ).

Differentiation to other architectural styles
The high-tech architecture brought modern architecture up to date: it extended the earlier ideas of modern architecture to even more advanced technological achievements. This architectural style also serves as a bridge between modern architecture and postmodern architecture – but there are also gray areas in which one category ends and the other begins. In the 1980s, it became increasingly difficult to distinguish between high-tech architecture and post-modern architecture, since many of the leitmotifs and ideas of high-tech architecture were integrated into the formal language of postmodern architecture schools.

Criticism of High-Tech Architecture
Early high-tech buildings of the 1970s are referred to by the historian Reyner Banham as “service sheds”, as they reveal not only the structure of the building but also the equipment, pipes and pipes of the building services.

Famous Representative
Important representatives of this style include British architects such as Norman Foster (* 1935), Richard Rogers (* 1933) or Michael Hopkins (born 1935), the American architect Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), the Italian architect Renzo Piano ( * 1937), the Japanese architect Toyo Ito (* 1941), the French architect Jean Nouvel (* 1945), the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas (* 1944) and the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava (* 1951), for his functional, organic Futuristic designs is known.

Early examples of the high-tech architecture are z. For example, the John Hancock Center ( Chicago ) by Fazlur Khan (1969), the World Trade Center ( New York City ) by Minoru Yamasaki (1971) (destroyed on September 11, 2001 ), or the Center Georges Pompidou ( Paris ) by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers (1977). In the 1990s, among others, the debis house was built on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. In the new millennium, tower blocks such as 30 St. Mary Ax ( London ) by Norman Foster (2003), Torre Agbar ( Barcelona ) by Jean Nouvel (2005), the Hearst Tower (New York City) by Norman Foster (2004) and Senedd stand out ( Cardiff Bay ) by Richard Rogers (2006).

Source From Wikipedia