Monday, 18 November 2013

You wait all day for a sustainable superstore and then two of them turn up at once

A 'super green' 'eco store' designed by Chetwood Architects for Sainsbury's and built in Greenwich in 1999, with a design life of fifty years and expected actually to be able to last one hundred (Will we still be buying anything in 2113?), and nominated for the Stirling Prize is to be demolished to enable IKEA to build a larger store on the site, whilst Sainsbury's relocates to a new store three times as big.

IKEA says:

‘We are planning to demolish the Sainsbury’s store, as the current building is not fit for purpose to be turned into an IKEA store. We need a larger space, and therefore inevitably we need to demolish the existing building to provide this. However, we have made a commitment to reuse and recycle all of the salavagable materials from the existing Sainsbury’s store.

(How many bookshelves will it make?)

Sainsbury's says:

‘We are relocating our Greenwich store to a bigger site so that we can offer our customers the full Sainsbury’s range. Our new store, which has already successfully gained planning permission, will be fully fitted with modern sustainable technologies.’

(What would it be like, I wonder, to gain planning permission unsuccessfully?)

The architect (Paul Hinkin, now of Black Architecture) says:

‘It is an absolute outrage. A building with a useful and productive life is going to be demolished. It is an act of vandalism.'