Planners described the shopping building as being a shopping street with a roof rather than an enclosed shopping arcade. The two storey building is built on a steel frame with silver reflective glass cladding.
A team of architects employed by Milton Keynes Development Corporation, led by Stuart Mosscrop began designing the building in the early 1970s.
One of the architects responsible for the Shopping Centre Building in Central Milton Keynes and many other parts of the city itself, is Derek Walker. Still based in Milton Keynes, Derek is one of the top architects in the country.
Click play on the controller to hear Derek explain some of the ideas behind the building design.
The Contract for development of the Shopping Building, worth £25 million, was won by John Laing Construction in April 1975.
To find out about the land before the shopping centre arrived, click here
The shopping building under construction in 1976. The picture is taken from the former City Square end of the building which is now the site of the West End extension. This end of the building was to house Bishops (later to become Budgens) supermarket on the left, Waitrose on the right and Dickins and Jones in the centre.
Photo reproduced by kind permission of Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre
Click here to find out how shopping should be..............
To view an animation of the city centre click here
Michael Gallavan worked as a glazier on the shopping building. "The work wasn't hard," he remembers, "but it was constant. There was plenty of overtime. The reflective glass is called vari-trans and was made by the Ford Motor Company in the US in partnership with a company called Libby Owen. It was very fashionable at the time. Two other buildings in the centre of Milton Keynes, Ashton House and Norfolk House used the same glass as well as the Railway Station. I also worked on the internal shopfronts in the centre, including John Lewis and Waitrose."
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