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Foster + Partners to Build Skyscrapers at Former Sainsbury’s HQ

Foster + Partners to Build Skyscrapers at Former Sainsbury’s HQ
09 August 2023

A planning application has been submitted to transform the site of The Stamford Building at 18 Blackfriars Road.

The plans, designed by Foster + Partners, include around 440 new homes with 40 per cent affordable housing, a food hall, a new playground and 800,000 sq. ft of office space. The project also includes the renovation of the Mad Hatter Public House and Hotel. Two skyscrapers, one of 40 storeys and another of 45 storeys, plus a smaller 22-storey building, will be worth an estimated £1 billion on completion.


Watch the Video




History of The Stamford Building


Sainsbury’s occupied the premises for more than a century, dating back to 1890. The supermarket chain moved out in 2001 and the building was demolished between 2016 and 2017. The building was London’s first mass concrete framed building.

Hines purchased the land in 2021 for an undisclosed sum but it was one of the largest land transactions of that year, according to CBRE. Hines is also the Development Manager and Asset Manager for the site.

Hines has over 5 million square feet of assets in development or under asset management in the UK, but this will be its first project in the London Borough of Southwark.


The Blackfriars Rotunda


Foster + Partners will also regenerate the 18th-century Blackfriars Rotunda. This building was first created to store the natural history collection of Sir Ashton Lever, and was later home to the Surrey Institution, hosting lectures on scientific and literary subjects. Between 1830-1832, it hosted the “Rotunda Radicals”, becoming a place for free speech and political debate.

The venue went on to be used as a museum, music hall, concert rooms and a warehouse until it was eventually demolished in 1958.

The new rotunda will take the form of a public plaza, facilitating a range of activities accessible to the local community and visitors.



Picture: a CGI showing the proposed new rotunda plaza, a curved building with outdoor community space with people gathered. Some people are seated at communal tables, others are walking around. Image Credit: Foster + Partners


Sustainability at 18 Blackfriars Road


The project is targeting the Greater London Authority’s figure of generating no more than 600kg of CO2 per square metre of office space. Innovative steel beam design which uses less CO2 than typical beams used in high-rise buildings will be employed, as well as using low carbon concrete with high levels of recycled materials.

The site will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and 95 per cent of heat will come from on-site energy sources.

According to The Times, Hines hopes to have secured planning approval by spring 2024 and to have its workers on site towards the end of that year. Currently, completion is predicted for the end of 2028.

Picture: a photograph showing the Southwark sight from the air. Image Credit: Foster + Partners

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 09 August 2023


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