Axe to fall on Stirling-shortlisted eco-supermarket
Architect vows to fight on
Greenwich council has approved plans to demolish a pioneering eco-supermarket that was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize.
The ultra-sustainable store, which opened just 14 years ago, will now be flattened to make way for an IKEA warehouse outlet – unless a last-minute listing application succeeds.
Paul Hinkin, the store’s original architect, said the decision was “totally and utterly indefensible” and vowed to continue the battle to save the building.
“I shall fight this until the wrecking ball goes through the roof. The wider harm it will do to the cause of sustainability in the UK is incalculable,” he said, speaking from Ecobuild.
It was “surreal” to be at a sustainable construction trade show less than 24 hours after imploring Greenwich’s planning committee to save one of the country’s most sustainable retail buildings, he said.
The store, designed when Hinkin, now managing director at Black Architecture, worked for Chetwoods, contains a host of sustainable features from door mats made from recycled tyres to a reed bed out the back through which rainwater is filtered before being used inside.
The new IKEA branch, designed by Bath practice Stubbs Rich which already has six IKEAs to its name, would fill the site, including the reed bed, as well as a neighbouring branch of Comet.
The Twentieth Century Society, alarmed by the threat to the building, submitted a listing application last month. English Heritage confirmed it has received this.
If approved, the building would be the youngest ever listed. Threatened buildings can be considered for listing 10 years after construction began, but only at grade II* or above.
Sainsbury’s would not comment, but BD understands the supermarket intends to stay open for about a year, until a new branch has opened.
IKEA’s deputy property manager, Steve Pettyfer, said it was too early to discuss timescales and that their next step would be to develop detailed plans.
He added: “The store will be IKEA UK’s most sustainable to date and achieve the latest Breeam Excellent standard as well as meet the GLA’s demanding new sustainability criteria, demonstrating our continued commitment to sustainable development.”