Architecture

Bookcase-inspired Ikea store embraces sustainable shopping

Bookcase-inspired Ikea store e...
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof's overall design is inspired by Ikea's bookcases
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof's overall design is inspired by Ikea's bookcases
View 5 Images
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof is topped by a public rooftop terrace area that features solar panels
1/5
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof is topped by a public rooftop terrace area that features solar panels
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof's interior is illuminated with natural light thanks to its generous glazing, including a skylight
2/5
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof's interior is illuminated with natural light thanks to its generous glazing, including a skylight
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof is located in central Vienna and measures 21,600 sq m (232,500 sq ft)
3/5
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof is located in central Vienna and measures 21,600 sq m (232,500 sq ft)
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof's overall design is inspired by Ikea's bookcases
4/5
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof's overall design is inspired by Ikea's bookcases
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof's features 160 trees, which are planted on its facade as well as the area surrounding the building
5/5
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof's features 160 trees, which are planted on its facade as well as the area surrounding the building
View gallery - 5 images

Back in 2020, Ikea revealed plans for a remarkable car-free store in Vienna, Austria. The project is now complete and features an eye-catching design that's conceived as an oversized bookcase covered in greenery.

Ikea Wien Westbahnhof was designed by local firm Querkraft Architekten and measures 21,600 sq m (232,500 sq ft). Structurally, it consists of prefabricated reinforced concrete columns arranged in a grid. Its exterior hosts deep shelf-like areas that provide shade and make space for terraces.

In all, 160 trees are planted on and around the store, which are expected to fill the facade over time and, according to computer simulations, could also help to lower the temperature in the immediate area.

"Trees on the facade and on the roof have a perceptible impact on the microclimate," said the firm. "As the trees could be placed at different heights and depths in the building there is more planting than would be possible on the building's ground area. In the 'Urban Heat Island-Strategy Plan' of the City of Vienna planting is one of the most important measures. The climbing plants and trees of the Ikea furniture store have a cooling and humidifying effect – like a kind of natural air conditioning system. The air temperature will be improved at the pedestrian level, too. Computer simulations indicate a relevant temperature decrease of 1.5 °C [2.5 °F]."

Ikea Wien Westbahnhof is topped by a public rooftop terrace area that features solar panels
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof is topped by a public rooftop terrace area that features solar panels

Inside the building, Ikea currently occupies the lower floors, with a 345-bed hostel on the top two floors. The interior is filled with daylight throughout thanks to the generous glazing, which includes a skylight.

The store's public rooftop terrace hosts 280 solar panels, which are used to reduce the building's draw on the grid. Energy efficient heat pumps provide heating and cooling and save around 84 tons of CO2 per year compared to standard systems, says Ikea.

There are also 30 nesting places for swifts to make their home outside and multiple habitats suitable for insects. Additionally, while there are no car parking spaces installed, there are excellent public transport links and local delivery is available via electric trucks and cargo bikes.

Source: Querkraft Architekten

View gallery - 5 images
2 comments
2 comments
BlueOak
Amusing to see IKEA dripping green frosting over its newest building. Will the building last as long as IKEA flat pack furniture?

We see broken IKEA products at the curb every garbage day.

And just try to get (even buy) replacement parts - without the receipt, they refused to provide a part they admitted they had in stock - even though we provided a photo of their product label on the furniture.

IKEA’s green virtue-signaling is as structurally sound as a house of cards.
Nelson Hyde Chick
By building a building and claiming it is sustainable when you are Ikea is kind of a joke when you factor-in all the trees that goes into its disposable furniture. Reminds me of the expression, "Putting lipstick on a pig."