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In Architecture, What is a Megastructure?

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Megastructure, a concept which first entered into architectural discussion in the late 1950s and 1960s, has an evolving definition. In 1968, architect Ralph Wilcoxon defined a megastructure as a grouping of modular units which could be built upon and expanded nearly indefinitely. Smaller, prefabricated units could be added within the overarching megastructure, suited to the specific needs of its occupants. The megastructure’s adaptability would enable the “hardware” of everyday life, such as utilities, to be run through the megastructure in easily accessible conduits. Some architects, such as Reyner Banham, saw the megastructure as a way to combine the vision of city planners and architects. His book Megastructure: Urban Futures of the Recent Past was the essential guide to the movement. Like-thinking planners and architects believed that planning should be viewed on a much larger scale, and megastructures could provide real solutions to sprawl and disorganized, inefficient cities. ... more
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Megastructure, a concept which first entered into architectural discussion in the late 1950s and 1960s, has an evolving definition. In 1968, architect Ralph Wilcoxon defined a megastructure as a grouping of modular units which could be built upon and expanded nearly indefinitely. Smaller, prefabricated units could be added within the overarching megastructure, suited to the specific needs of its occupants. The megastructure’s adaptability would enable the “hardware†of everyday life, such as utilities, to be run through the megastructure in easily accessible conduits. Some architects, such as Reyner Banham, saw the megastructure as a way to combine the vision of city planners and architects. His book Megastructure: Urban Futures of the Recent Past was the essential guide to the movement. Like-thinking planners and architects believed that planning should be viewed on a much larger scale, and megastructures could provide real solutions to sprawl and disorganized, inefficient ... more
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Megastructure, a concept which first entered into architectural discussion in the late 1950s and 1960s, has an evolving definition. In 1968, architect Ralph Wilcoxon defined a megastructure as a grouping of modular units which could be built upon and expanded nearly indefinitely. Smaller, prefabricated units could be added within the overarching megastructure, suited to the specific needs of its occupants. The megastructure’s adaptability would enable the “hardware?of everyday life, such as utilities, to be run through the megastructure in easily accessible conduits. Some architects, such as Reyner Banham, saw the megastructure as a way to combine the vision of city planners and architects. His book Megastructure: Urban Futures of the Recent Past was the essential guide to the movement. Like-thinking planners and architects believed that planning should be viewed on a much larger scale, and megastructures could provide real solutions to sprawl and disorganized, inefficient cities. ... more
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