IKEA is coming to Austria, and the theme of the new location is: “We want to be a good neighbor.” Rather than a massive campus on the outskirts of town, the IKEA in Vienna makes use of a city lot, not only by providing the community a home goods shopping experience, but by incorporating lodging and a community garden. 

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An IKEA building stacked layers and plants interspersed throughout

Designed by Querkraft Architects, the urban location means making adaptations to merge with the surrounding residential and commercial properties. It’s easily accessible via public transportation systems and offers a car-free experience. 

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Additionally, Querkraft’s design was chosen following a three-phase architectural competition. The good neighbor theme is seen from street to rooftop with the inclusion of gathering spaces and copious greenery. From inside or outside the building, the community can enjoy the many layers of trees and plants. Not only does the building feature numerous green facades, but it supports a roof terrace that is open to the public as a gathering point to sip coffee, meet with friends and enjoy the view. 

A diagram of an IKEA building and the exterior plant life

The exterior of the building was designed to accommodate future growth if needed. An external shell mimics layers of shelving, with open spaces for terraces, fire escapes, elevators and building systems. The components also act as a passive design element by providing shade for visitors and passersby. 

A layered building with individual plants at each level

Inside, the open lobby invites interaction and exploration. Looking up, the many levels are visible and accessible through a central staircase. The top two levels act as a hostel with 345 beds, so the building is always in use as both accommodations and a retail space. 

An upper area with a fencing to overlook the scenery

The entire team put an emphasis on green design, with over 60 trees in and around the building. Placing plants on each level provides a connection with nature and a notable decrease in temperature in alignment with the “Urban Heat Island-Strategy Plan“ of the City of Vienna. 

+ Querkraft Architects

Images via Heausler and Hertha Hurnaus