chapter  3
17 Pages

Ecclesiastical Authorities and the Form of Medieval Towns

ByTerry R. Slater

This chapter draws on and extends earlier work revisits the early development of Cumbernauld's Central Area to explore these issues further. It creates context by sketching the origins and development of megastructural concepts within contemporary architecture. At the outset, it is important to stress that megastructuralism is not inherently utopian. The use of concrete, however, was an expression of the austere style and aesthetics known as 'New Brutalism'. The resulting economizing adversely affected constructional work across the sector but was particularly serious for unconventional buildings using materials like concrete-which needed exacting standards of workmanship if it was to function effectively. The vibrant and multi-faceted debate that surrounded adoption of megastructures was paralleled by more specific but fiercely contested debates arising from the designation and planning of Cumbernauld. The Institute of American Architects' decision to make Cumbernauld the first recipient of its R. H. Reynolds Memorial Award for Community Architecture testified to its reputation in international architectural circles.