In autumn 1964 the fifth edition of the magazine Archigram appeared in London, dedicated to the subject Metropolis. Along with Archigram’s designs for Plug-in City, it showcased Constant Nieuwenhuys’ urban vision New Babylon and Yona Friedman’s La Ville spatiale, under the title Within the big structure.

These designs now rank among the incunabula of the 1960s. Combining visionary architecture, pop culture, art, and situationist rebellion, they became known far beyond the narrow confines of urban planning. The designs still hold their fascination today, not least due to their peculiar aesthetic quality. Hence it is not surprising that individual plans or models have regularly been seen at Documenta and in large museum exhibitions over the years.

Archigram 5 (Metropolis), page 2

Till now, however, there has been no exhibition dealing explicitly with the megastructuralists’ vision. MEGASTRUCTURE RELOADED seeks now for the first time to show La Ville spatiale, Plug-in City and New Babylon in context. Alongside Archigram, those represented will include Constant, Friedman and their comrades from the Groupe d’Études d’Architecture Mobile, such as Eckard Schulze-Fielitz, as well as the radical Florence groups Superstudio and Archizoom, whose designs at the end of the 1960s constituted an ironic response to the megastructuralists.

The exhibition is not intended purely as a documentary representation however; instead the megastructuralists are to be tested for their currency and relevance to the problems of contemporary urban design. We will focus on the connection, so significant for the designs, between architecture/ spatial structures, and visual art, as well as on actual architectonic and urban-design issues..

The exhibition will feature installations by the contemporary artists José Dávila (MX), Simon Dybbroe Møller (DK), Ryan Gander (GB), Franka Hörnschemeyer (D), Gordon Matta-Clark (USA); Victor Nieuwenhuys & Maartje Seyferth (NL), Tobias Putrih (SI/USA), Tomas Saraceno (AR), Katrin Sigurdardòttir (IS/USA) and Tilman Wendland (D). These subject specific installations will be developed directly for the exhibition and reflect the idea of megastructures as well as the structures of real mega-cities such as Mexico City or São Paulo. Only Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1975 masterpiece Conical Intersect, an intervention at an old building facing the construction site of a rare example of actually realised megastructures, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, is an already existing work, which will be integrated in the exhibition