Bunhill: A Safeway landmank

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TIME was when a shop was a shop and an Egyptian temple was, well, an Egyptian temple. Not any more. Having given Sainsbury a building Rameses himself might have been proud of for its Homebase in Kensington, west London, Ian Pollard has been hired by Safeway to design a pounds 30m supermarket next door.

His efforts for Sainsbury attracted equal measures of love and loathing, but he is undeterred. The Safeway, he says, 'will reflect and be sympathetic to' its neighbour. 'It will not be like any other Safeway in the country. They want a flagship, a landmark,' said a delighted Pollard, whose efforts include Battersea's Marco Polo building, home of the Observer.

There may be another reason why he is so pleased: this commission presents a wonderful opportunity to take revenge on Sainsbury for toning down his Homebase design. Pollard had wanted to raise a temple to the religion of our time: shopping. But Lord Sainsbury is said to have taken one look at the finished building and pronounced it out of keeping with the Sainsbury image. Down came some of the columns, replaced by murals.

While Safeway deliberates over early sketches, Pollard has plenty to keep him busy. He is working on a modest version of the Pompidou Centre in, of all places, Peckham, south London.

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