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Sainsbury’s eco-store faces bulldozer

JS GreenwichUK: The architect behind Sainsbury’s first award-winning “sustainable” supermarket has launched a campaign to save it from demolition, just 14 years after it was built. As Sainsbury’s trumpets the opening of the second of its “Triple Zero”, zero carbon stores, Paul Hinkin who led the team at Chetwoods Associates who designed Sainsbury’s Stirling-Prize-nominated store that opened in Greenwich in 1999, has launched a petition to save it from the bulldozer.

Due to the success of the store, Sainsbury’s is moving to a new larger site nearby but covenants restrict the existing store from being used by any other food retailer.

The site has been purchased by IKEA, with the furniture retailer planning to build a new 33,000m² store using sustainable materials as well as reusing and recycling all of the salvageable materials from the existing Sainsbury’s store.

Writing in bdonline, Paul Hinkin, now the md at Black Architecture, described the store’s demolition as “wanton destruction” saying that it would “tarnish public perceptions of the whole sector.”

“How can it be acceptable to make a pact about the sustainability of a development during the planning process, only to renege on that promise when it is surplus to requirements?” he said.

The building was opened by Jamie Oliver in a fanfare of publicity in October 1999 and won a number of awards including the RIBA Journal Sustainability Award and the £20,000 Design Sense Award, and was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. It was chosen by the Design Council as a Millennium Product and featured in an exhibition that toured the world.

Sainsbury’s told the Cooling Post: “Sustainable technologies have moved on since the current store was first built and Sainsbury’s new store will use the very latest technologies available to complement our industry-leading standard specification.  The new store will also use significantly less energy and we aim to reuse all of the equipment from the current store in other Sainsbury’s stores.”

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