Megastructures (architecture)

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For other uses, see Megastructure (disambiguation).

Megastructures are an architectural concept popularized in the 1960s where a city could be encased in a single building, or a relatively small number of buildings interconnected together.

The concept was popularized by avant-garde architectural groups such as Archigram.

Megacity Montreal[edit]

Megacity Montreal is the title of a chapter in a book titled Megastructure: Urban Futures of the Recent Past written by architecture theoretician Reyner Banham. Place Bonaventure in Montreal is featured as an example in this book.

Place Bonaventure was the world's largest building upon its completion in 1967. Place Bonaventure was first conceived as an exhibition hall, international trade centre, and hotel. The building covers an area of 2 ha (5 acres) and is built over 18 Canadian National Railway tracks leading to Central Station. Place Bonaventure is also linked to subway system and the Tour de la Bourse (Stock Exchange Tower) through a network of underground tunnels. Until major renovation work drastically changed its appearance, Place Bonaventure was an entirely self-contained cubic structure that had few windows. Construction began in 1964 and was completed in 1967.

During Expo 67 world fair held in Montréal, Québec, various pavilions exhibited megastructure features, such as the USA, Netherlands and Theme pavilions, as well as Habitat '67.

Architectural critics visiting the world fair were struck by Montréal's Grain elevators which, with their networks of covered conveyors belts, irresistibly evoked the images megastructures touted in experimental circles.

Montréal’s subway system also evoked megastructures as it is directly connected to several downtown buildings which eventually evolved into the famed Underground City.

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Reyner Banham, Megastructure - Urban Futures of the Recent Past, 224 p., Thames and Hudson, London 1976.
  • Sabrina van der Ley & Markus Richter (eds.), Megastructure Reloaded - Visionary Architecture and Urban Design of the Sixties Reflected by Contemporary Artists, 287 p., Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern near Stuttgart 2008.

External links[edit]