What material most recently and fundamentally changed building architecture?

This is a difficult question to answer well since for the most part buildings are big and as such, need a lot of material. Materials we have a lot of tend to be constant over time (stone, wood, metal, glass (made from stone), concrete (made from stone), rubber (all types), and plastics).

So what has really changed is how we fabricate those materials and how we engineer them to be more effectively used. 

Also building design is rather conservative, so you can walk down the street and see the same materials used today as 100 years ago, just in slightly different shapes and configurations.

With that in mind, lets take a look at one of these materials and how it has changed and what that implies for Architecture and building.

Concrete dates back to the Roman times. What we have done over the past two thousand years are to make it stronger and easier to form. Plain old concrete has a compressive strength of about 3,000 psi. High strength concrete can be 4 times as strong (or more in some cases). The impact on architectural design is that because it is stronger, we need less of it. Because we need less of it, it weighs less. Because it weighs less, we can build taller and thinner buildings out of concrete. You probably don't notice this much, but it does enable taller and lighter buildings to be constructed.

Add to that, the advanced engineering tools we have to calculate stresses and size reinforcement and we can get very expressive buildings created from concrete such as these examples by Santiago Calatrava.

The second thing we did with concrete is add other stuff to it. Admixtures make it flow better, or enable it to maintain fine levels of detail. We also mix glass fibers into it to add strength but still allow it to be quite thin and strong. The result of this is often that it is used as a cheap and available replacement for traditional materials like stone. But it can also take on forms which would be difficult to build in stone.

GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) can be used for traditional architecture
or new things we could not execute in stone before
It is relatively easy to work with
and being thin it is also light, allowing us to build higher, bigger, cheaper

Wood, like concrete has also become an engineered material, giving it more strength and consistency as well as allowing different forms. We have plywoods, veneers, laminated veneer lumber, particle boards, fiberboard, engineered floorings, engineered beams and trusses and the like. None of this is due to new materials except for the glue that holds it together, and most of the time, the new wood products are a substitute for a traditional building material. The main architectural impact is to enable larger spans.

Steel and glass also follow this idea of an existing material being tweaked in terms of manufacturing process. 

The biggest advances in Architectural design are in the improvements to the tools we use to design, engineer and construct buildings instead of the materials themselves.
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