Although putting IKEA furniture together is known to cause immense stress for humans, the giant Swedish furniture store has now found a way to bring some peace to the world’s smallest critters. The company has just kicked off a collaboration with London–based artists, architects and designers on the new project, “Wild Homes for Wildlife” that sees old IKEA furniture being upcycled into unique animal abodes for bees, birds, bats and insects.
The Wild Homes project is part of a celebration of the opening of a new store in Greenwich, London. Various local artists and designers were given free reign over the collection of used furniture and materials found in the store’s reuse and recycle area to create their unique habitats.
Most of the artists’ creations took on an entire new appearance, hardly giving clues to the discarded materials used to create the structures. For example, artist Iain Talbot created the “Bug Bud”, a bright blue egg-shape structure made out of old IKEA chairs and leftover cladding from an IKEA store. One of the most incredible projects is “Honey I’m Home!” by artist Hattie Newman, which is a colorful bee village created from a repurposed IKEA BURVIK side table.
Although the project was planned to kick off the new Greenwich store, the collaboration is actually part of IKEA’s commitment to sustainability. In fact, the Greenwich IKEA location is aiming to achieve a BREEAM “Outstanding” accreditation by incorporating a number of green technologies, including solar panels and rainwater harvesting into the building. And of course, this strategy includes reusing upcycled materials to create homes for the local wildlife.
“IKEA Greenwich is our leading sustainable store and we want to have a positive impact on the local environment,” says Helen Aylett, IKEA Greenwich store manager. “By offering a community experience centered on reuse and recycling and supporting local conservation, we want to demonstrate that we’re committed to being a good neighbor for all walks of life in Greenwich and the surrounding area—creepy crawlies included!”
The wildlife homes are currently on display at Sutcliffe Park in southeast London.
Images via IKEA