- Words and images by George Sunderland
Goal & objective
Local retail is failing as online shopping booms. Recreational groups are increasingly organising via the internet, creating siloed, ‘opt-in’ communities that no longer interact with each other. Locally funded social infrastructure is in the doldrums after over a decade of austerity. The aim of the SuperStoa is to reconnect these disparate groups, and enliven suburban shopping districts, transforming them into a true centre for their local communities.
By co-locating the three key elements of a successful high street – resource, retail and recreation – the SuperStoa builds on a foundation of shared experience and history to create an environment where both unplanned interactions and daily commingling act to revive an old style of community.
Fundamentally, the proposal is a retail-focused scheme that allows autonomous elements of the local population to colonise space within the building for community uses. The SuperStoa also rehouses lost local resources in the form of a new library and archive, while acting as a backdrop to the new public square – or agora – outside its main entrance.
Albert Corner, South Chingford, London Borough of Waltham Forest, E4
78,000 sqft / 7,250 sqm
J Sainsbury plc and LB Waltham Forest