Megastructure design is mainly considered as the almost exclusive product of a ‘utopian’ period, lasting from the second half of the 1950s until the early 1970s. This viewpoint, influenced by Banham’s writings, merits discussion in order to consider the great variety of elements that fuelled megastructure visions. In fact, at the same time as large-scale design came to the forefront as a reflection of industrial and economic growth, this culture was also at the centre of a dense network of dialogue which architecture established with structural engineering on the one hand and with visual arts on the other, consistent with a concise and continuous conception of design cultures. The results of these relationships go back very clearly to the middle of the 1950s, but in some cases they had already been active in the 1920s and 1930s and, to an extent and with an intensity of that in some ways is surprising, also during the war and in the first post-war years.
Keywords: Megastructures; structural engineering; Reyner Banham