The former Milton Keynes Development Corporation started work on the new CMK shopping centre in 1973, converting former farming land into what was to become one of the most state-of-the-art destinations of the time.
Architects Derek Walker, Stuart Mosscrop, and Christopher Woodward wanted a sleek, seamless building made of glass, steel and travertine marble, built with two two parallel arcades lit by daylight. These housed tropical trees and works of art as well as 130 shops and open courtyards.
Their imaginative plans paid off and the building went on to win several prestigious design awards.
You can follow the shopping centre's journey here, with photos from MK's Living Archive and the Citizen's own archives.
n 1993, the building was extended at the western end, over much of what had been City Square to the even greater length of 720 meters. In architectural style this extension is similar to the original, though the join can be detected internally by the low ceilings and dark corridors in the extension, quite unlike the handsome arcades of the original phase. Following extension this was documented in the 1997 Guinness Book of Records to contain the longest shopping mall in the world.
ension is built across (and thus closing) Midsummer Boulevard using a (covered and enclosed) plaza that contains some demountable kiosks: it is a further planning requirement that the Boulevard should technically be capable of