Spotlight on supermarkets
With current patterns of shopping changing from physical to virtual; more local produce, suppliers and retailers rather than the out of town megastore – although all this is of course varies with geographical location and income levels.
Much is written about the quality of food and campaigned for by celebrity chefs and the demise of local retailers and independents, but less is discussed about the environments in which the food is sold and the visual impact that supermarkets have in our towns and cities. The Localism Bill
could have a significant impact on how food stores will be designed and developed in the future as these tend to be the most contentious of planning applications. But also importantly is the CO2 agenda and need for energy efficiency; the influence of a maturing market, which might increase some land values; but equally importantly the need to adapt to the demands of the customer – ‘the customer is king’.Architecture centres
have been leading in some of the discussion on what makes for a good supermarket, but also through their design review and design support panels have been working with designers, planners and the supermarkets themselves to improve the design quality. “It is not a new conversation, and should be the beginning of a bigger conversation that can be continued nationally. We are the people that can have an influence. Supermarkets are as much a reflection of our society as schools and hospitals. We have an involvement with them as designers, planners and consumers. Supermarkets are an integral part of the 21st Century and involve a huge investment of financial and human endeavour, and we need to ensure that development is done as well as possible.”
A rallying cry from Martin Stockley, Chair, Places Matter!
Design Review Panel at the Places Matter! Supermarket Forum held earlier in the year. A full transcript of which can be found here.
They also produced 'Breaking the Mould - a snapshot of food store design'.
As highlighted at the forum, some of the major retailers are looking to become much more sustainable, with Marks & Spencer aiming to be the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015; they have developed a ‘Sustainable Learning’ store to ‘test’ future developments and produced a hefty handbook
Morrison’s using heat harvesting from refrigeration units to heat offices; using LEDs in cold stores, as they do not generate heat; putting doors on refrigeration units, as used on freezer units (which did not deter customers as had been assumed); Asda and Tesco using natural light and 100% FSC timber certification. Walmart has trialled the use of natural day light since the 80’s and had proven that it cut costs and increased sales by 5%; people stayed longer and spent up to 30% more – a win win result surely – why has it taken so long to be considered or adopted everywhere else?
- Supermarket-led development: Asset or liability? Published by CABE
- Sainsbury’s supermarket, Greenwich Peninsula, London
- Tesco supermarket in Ludlow
- Sainsbury’s Supermarket Deal, Kent
- Booths in Garstang, Lancs David Millington's Photos of the super market.
- Sainsbury’s Plymouth, Year of Completion: 1994
Architect/Designer: Elsworth Sykes Architects, Main Contractor/Customer: Birse Construction Limited
- Waitrose/ Friarsgate, Weeke in Winchester
- Some websites and buildings that we like:
- A competition in the USA to design supermarkets, and other related great information.
- MPRIES Germany/Austria, family owned supermarkets – fantastic. More images on this website.
- Of course we can’t leave out our favourite Thornton’s Budgens in Crouch End with the amazing Food from the Sky.
- Useful information and links
URBAN FOOD - approaches from around the world. Target Zero Guidance, Supermarkets BREEAM BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings in the UK
Planning for Town Centres: Guidance on Design and. Implementation tools.Design and Access Statements
- Building Regulations, Approved Document L, Conservation of Fuel and Power
- The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme