A Revolutionary Green Store by IKEA with 160 "Built-In" Trees and No Car Parking

Image: ikea.com

Sustainable Architecture for Sustainable Living... and Shopping

The world-known Swedish furniture company IKEA is building a revolutionary new store in Vienna, Austria. The main focus is sustainability and green design. The seven-story building (of 21 600 sq.m2) will have green facades, green roof-space and will have no car parking. And most important - it will have 160 trees planted  in the facades and on the roof. The goal is to help purifying the air in the neighborhood and also lowering the temperature in the building with at least 2 degrees Celsius. The store is expected to open its doors in 2021. 

Innovative and Environmentally Friendly Design

Here is what we read in IKEA's statement about the project:

"The concept specifically addresses the current megatrends and takes into account the dramatically changed shopping behavior as well as a new form of mobility without a car. Customers are short on time and value convenience and comfort. This is clearly noticeable in the furnishing sector: more and more customers no longer even think about dragging their purchases home themselves. You have them delivered to you. This is of course also promoted by the boom in online ordering options. IKEA am Westbahnhof implements this: All products that are larger than "small items" are delivered to your home within a maximum of 24 hours. 

The whole building is geared towards pedestrians, subway and tram drivers and cyclists - there is no space for cars. But there is a lot of experience, gastronomy, space to stroll and look and more greenery, than a park in this area could offer. 160 trees will ensure a more pleasant microclimate on the house. The building was designed by the Viennese architecture office querkraft architects in close cooperation with the specialists from IKEA."

The Architects About the Project - Specifics and Details

Here is what we read in querkraft's statement about the project:

"At the briefing stage the client already formulated the aim: "We want to be a good neighbour". querkraft's response to this objective is shown by a building that also represents an added value for its surroundings. The roof terrace that is open to the public, the wealth of greenery on all facade areas, a café and an outdoor space with a friendly design – these are all amenities that contribute towards being a "good neighbour".

The external envelope is reminiscent of a kind of shelving. This 4.5 meter deep zone runs around the building like a series of shelves that offer shade. It allows spaces to expand, offers room for terraces and planting and for servant elements such as lifts, escape staircases, toilets and building services.

The entrance level is a lively place – a spatial continuum with a mezzanine level and retail areas at the front, along Mariahilfer Straße. The continuous void in the interior of the building allows visual contacts between the different floors. this encourages visitors to make their way to the upper floors which are connected by escalators. The roof top will also to be accessible to the public, and on the upper two floors there will be a hostel.

Large trees in the facade and on the roof, totally about 160 trees, have a perceptible influence on the microclimate. The three-dimensional use of trees provides a greater amount of planting than could be offered by using just the ground alone. Planting is one of the most important measures in the "urban heat island strategy plan of the city of Vienna". The creepers and the trees of the IKEA furniture store provide cooling and moisture – a natural kind of air conditioning. The air temperature at pedestrian level will also be improved by these measures.

To ensure the efficient conditioning of the building the building services are based on a simple principle – short distances and direct access. The infrastructure in the building is exposed, which increases the perceptible height of the spaces. The prefabricated reinforced concrete columns are on a grid of about 10 x 10 meters, allowing considerable flexibility in the design and use of the spaces."

Post-building Engagement 

Once the work has been completed, IKEA will finance the construction of an attractive recreational area for the neighbors. This is regulated within the framework of an urban development contract.

You can see photos of the actual building work here.

sources: ikea.com and querkraft.at

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Wednesday, 22 September 2021

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