A new Sainsbury’s shopping experience opens at Nine Elms Point


A new Sainsbury’s shopping experience designed by Rolfe Judd opened on 25th August 2016, located centrally in London’s largest transformation project at Nine Elms on the South Bank. The new larger store is the first phase of the major landmark development, Nine Elms Point which comprises retail, office and residential buildings from 7 to 37 storeys.

The joint development project with Barratt London and L&Q will deliver 737 new homes and the adjoining new Nine Elms tube station. Nine Elms Point is part of the wider multi-billion pound private investment programme to transform the area between Chelsea Bridge and Lambeth Bridge into an ultra-modern residential and business district.

The new replacement Sainsbury’s store is re-positioned within the site to face Wandsworth Road to connect more closely with the new transport link. This also enabled the construction of a larger store with more choice and services with the residential arrangement of three taller cluster buildings above. The development also includes an Explore Learning centre, offering after school tuition for children aged 5-14 in English and Maths

The store design by Rolfe Judd takes inspiration from an agora, in ancient Greek culture the agora was the central ‘gathering place’, where people assembled for artistic or political reasons and later to trade. The frontage is set out in a clear simple grid with each double storey bay organised in the classic 2:3 or golden rectangle proportion, the traditional form used in classical architecture. A mix of transparent, translucent and coloured glazing in each bay provides partial views in and out of the store and completes the homogenous and uncluttered façade design. This acts as a transition element in scale with the residential blocks on Wandsworth Road.


The design features an atrium which is the front door to the store and cleverly allows for efficient access from the hidden car park and the road as well as presenting the activity of the store. Parking for both the store and the residences above is at basement and ground floor levels with the main store at first floor level. At ground floor level kiosks provide further activity and are visible to the street.


The final composition provides an elegant retail experience as well as presenting the store correctly to the major commercial access route. The new store respects the surrounding context and allows for some privacy for the residential blocks opposite. Additionally, it succeeds with the original ambition of the overall scheme and the regeneration by Rolfe Judd of Nine Elms Point.

New improvements to the public spaces include a pedestrian route and landscaped square and crossings on Wandsworth Road. There is a desire to provide a routeway through the railway arches to the rear to New Covent Garden Market. The residential buildings above are due for completion in late 2019.