Can Tesco's Architects Ever Satisfy The Critics?

The British supermarket giant Tesco has carefully designed some new superstores, but it's branches are still "breeding like shrink-wrapped rabbits."
November 23, 2004, 1pm PST | Zvi Leve
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"Several sites, previously contaminated by industrial waste and pollutants," says Tesco, "have been restored to full environmental health. Derelict land has also been chosen for many new Tesco stores, creating centres for urban regeneration after years of neglect. Many have won applause from civic societies and local people alike for matching the existing styles and character unique to each area." From a planning view, according to Paul Finch, acting chairman of Cabe (the government's Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), "Tesco is building in city centres where it is perfectly acceptable to do so, buying up existing retail premises and conforming to local building regulations. From a political point of view, many of its new stores are considered sound because they suit the needs of people who want to walk, rather than drive, to their local shops. From an aesthetic point of view, there is a lot of snobbery surrounding Tesco. In fact, the company works with some highly respected architects." And offers "planning gains" in terms of regenerated land and environmental programmes.

Thanks to Zvi Leve

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Published on Sunday, November 21, 2004 in The Guardian Unlimited
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