thanks to Antoine’s reference of the two Belgian architects who gave a lecture at the AA last year on the big box (amongst other things) (http://www.aaschool.ac.uk//VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=1785)
I came across the book The Liberal Monument by one of them (Alexander d’Hooge), which is a condensed version of his PHD from the Berlage on urban sprawl. The book is much better than the lecture.
I am still making my way through it slowly but it essentially outlines d’Hooge’s argument for how to design to counteract urban sprawl, and the relevance of the Big Box. One of the chapters in the book is a re-con by d’Hooge himself where he stages a conversation (that never happened) between Ernst Cassirer, Sigfried Giedion, Louis Kahn and Josep Luis Sert. Might be a useful big-box reference in the future (but not really ruin-related).