Architecture of the present day is characterised by different, partly contradictory trends.
As well as the architectural terminology preferred by traditionalists such as O. M. Ungers, which favours the type of large volume brick building and a strongly condensed block development, the so–called high-tech architecture must be emphasised as an important trend.
High-tech architecture has its origins in the Constructivism of the 1920s and the technological optimism of the 1960s with the formative proposals of the architect group, Archigram. With the construction of the Centre Pompidou in Paris (1977), with its outwardly visible services, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano put into practice Archigram’s characteristic stylistic elements.
A feature of high-tech architecture is the use of new technologies and industrial processes in the erection of buildings, thereby determining their inner and outer form.
In the 1990s the technological approach of high-tech architecture was concentrated increasingly on the solution to ecological problems in architecture and urban development.
In addition, there are trends that draw not only on the principles of the modern but also advocate historicising and regional architecture.
At the start of the 21st century the focus is on ecologically orientated building and on converting existing buildings – not seen terms of style, but rather as important building tasks.
The sustainability of a structure is of central importance in ecologically orientated building, along with the use of renewable resources, the recyclability of a structure, and the protection of the natural surroundings.
Building within existing stock entails the restoration, the careful handling and the maintenance of old structures, combined with new building measures.